Full house at South East Convention

More than 200 delegates enjoyed a day of motivation and inspiration at the REPs’ South East Convention in London last week. The sell-out event featured a keynote presentation from weight-loss guru Pete Cohen plus a choice of 12 practical/interactive workshops.

The 12 workshops featured the latest research and emerging techniques in the industry. Discovery Learning investigated the issue of Food Addiction, Premier Training covered Pad Techniques, Lincoln Bryden explored Exercise Hormones, and Fit Pro demonstrated using the ViPR to add functional variety to training. Delegates at David Lloyd in Raynes Park, also enjoyed a buffet lunch and special birthday cupcakes to celebrate the 10th anniversary of REPs.

The REPs Conventions are becoming bigger & better so make sure you book your place early when we release the next program. Lookout for details of a bumper three-day national convention planned to coincide with Leisure Industry Week in Birmingham from September 18-21.

Are no-contract gyms the future of fitness?

An article in The Guardian argues the current financially straitened times could mean a boom in pay-as-you-play gyms. Journalist Rachel Platt looks at recent court cases brought by disgruntled customers fighting traditional gym contracts and the rise of budget gyms opening across the UK. To read more click here

What do you think – are the days of long-contract gyms over? Do gyms need to offer more bespoke services to customers allowing them to pick and chose levels of membership?  Could the rise of the budget gym be a positive for fitness professionals?

Exercise buddies help motivation….

Scientists found working out with someone else was the key to staying motivated – even if the partner was virtual. A team from Michigan State University recruited 58 young women to take part in a six sessions on an exercise bike. All of them were told to cycle for as long as they felt comfortable. One group cycled alone while another cycled with a virtual partner who they first ‘met’ via a pre-recorded video chat. They were told that the ‘virtually present partner’ would be riding at the same time on a similar bike in another lab.

During the exercise sessions, participants with a partner were able to track their progress by watching what looked like a live feed but was in fact a recording. The scientists told these participants that their partner’s performance was a little better than their own. The women were then asked to rate their intention to exercise again, how well they felt they had done and how tired they felt. The researchers also measured how hard they had worked.

The results revealed that the women cycling with a virtual performance exercised for 22 minutes, which was twice as long as those cycling alone. Those exercising solo also saw a marked decline in intent to exercise while the other reported no decline in motivation.

The authors conclude: ‘Being able to more than double one’s performance is a substantial gain for those trying to increase their physical activity. These results are encouraging and suggest that the gains we observed over six hour-long sessions could be sustained on a longer-term program of exercise. This may be of particular value in future efforts to help people meet physical activity recommendations.’

SkillsActive appoints Olympic Gold Medallist as new Chief Executive

SkillsActive, the Sector Skills Council for Sport and Active Leisure, has appointed Olympic gold medallist Ian Taylor as its new Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

Ian, who was part of Great Britain’s gold medal-winning hockey team at the 1988 Seoul Olympics, has 25 years’ of commercial experience in addition to his 12 year career as an elite athlete.  He has held a number of CEO roles at organisations including Greyhound Board of Great Britain, London Irish Rugby Club and Sport-Scotland.

Prior to Ian’s new appointment he spent two years as Major Projects Director at GL Events where he was responsible for high-profile event management contracts including the 2012 Olympic Games, Football, Rugby and Cricket World Cups, Formula 1 and Masters Tournaments for Tennis and Golf.

He takes over from interim CEO Suki Kalirai, who has been holding the position for the past six months. SkillsActive Chair Elaine Clowes comments: “In this Olympic year, Ian’s sporting credentials and entrepreneurial expertise will make an invaluable contribution to the organisation. Under his leadership, SkillsActive will further enhance its reputation as one of the most innovative, focused and respected sector skills council in the UK.”

She continues: “As SkillsActive makes the transition from a Government funded organisation to one that is commercially and customer driven, Ian is the ideal person to build on the company’s existing strengths and ensure it continues to deliver services of the highest quality.”

Ian is a former Minister of Sport’s nominee on The Sports Council, an Executive Board Director of the British Olympic Association (BOA) and is published author including co-author of the International Athletes Time Management Programme.

Register online with new REPs’ website

Fitness Instructors and Trainers can now apply for REPs’ registration online via the REPs’ website, which has been re-designed and up-dated.

Following feedback from members the website also offers improved search facilities and a section for members of the public (including a list of employers who support the Register).

Registrar Jean-Ann Marnoch said: “We’re really delighted to be able to offer a more streamlined online registration process for new members. We’re very pleased with the new-look site and hope our members, training providers, employers and members of the public will find it informative and easy to use.”

Visit www.exerciseregister.org for more info.

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