2013 Wrap Up and What We’re Up To in 2014
2013 was an interesting year for us here at True, Women’s Fitness and Well-Being, Manukau. Our first full year not part of a franchise was always going to be a bit of an unknown, but we’re pleased to say that we’ve covered off a lot (most!) of the things we have planned for this year.
Tribe Team Training made its debut in Mar ’13. At the time we had no idea whether it would be a success or not! The research we’d done showed a great program, but we didn’t really know how it would be received.
We moved RPM into the sunny studio at the front of the building and this allowed us to use the free space there. After much renovating, banging and clattering the transformation was complete and the room that used be child care, then was RPM, was now Tribe!
To say we are impressed by Tribe is an understatement. From a trainer’s perspective the programs are expertly devised and easy to deliver. From the feedback we’ve received from members, we know that Tribe has exceeded our members’ expectations.
The fact that so many members love the programs and more importantly that they are getting the results they want, speaks volumes. (If you still don’t know how Tribe can benefit you – Read about members’ experiences here)
Soon after Tribe was launched, we were able to launch our full on women’s only boxing. With boxing instructor Nikks who has been a NZ boxing champ herself, we were able to provide a great variety of classes. The technique training and fitness training has found a real following in the gym among members and staff as well. Plus we can proudly say that we’re the only women’s only gym to provide “proper” boxing in Manukau!
A big initiative that we undertook this year was to widen our service offering into aspects of mental wellness. The term “mental wellness” sometimes has negative connotations, but in this case we’re stepping more into positive wellness territory.
We’re trying to help our gym members think about their relationship with food and exercise in a positive light. (i.e. Instead of focusing on always trying to “lose” weight – we’re looking at the positive health benefits that you “gain” with weight loss). This subtle shift in the way of thinking is used in the field of psychology for many other applications (such as behaviour change, smoking cessation etc).
We’ve known for a long time that the best exercise programs in the world and the best nutritional advice don’t mean a thing unless the mind set is “right”. But until recently we didn’t know how to help our members with this.
Our first step on this journey to helping our clients in a more “whole”-istic way was to do a bit of study…..In conjunction with University of Auckland and psychology student Tamasin Taylor, last June we conducted a study into our members exercise adherence and motivation. This study yielded a lot of insights into the real factors that prevent our members from reaching their goals. (We’ve started to release the data in bit size chunks here).
One important insight from this study led us to the conclusion that we are on the right track. By the sheer numbers of members volunteering to complete the study we knew there was some interest there. But even though there’s no blue print to work from with this type of thing, we’re off to a great start!
We took our next step on this path with Melanie Stapleberg, who is a clinical psychologist. Melanie is a member here at True and has a great understanding and insight into who our members are. She is helping us test the waters by providing free cognitive behaviour change workshops. These workshops are another way for us to be able to help our clients tackle the obstacles that sometimes get in the way of their success on the journey to fitness and well being. We’ll be exploring this more in the new year.
We should also mention the success of the 8 Week Weight Loss Challenge that is nearing completion. Challenges like this are nothing new and have been around for ages, but we did notice something different with this particular one. Usually in challenges we’ve imposed rigorous exercise regimes and strict diets. In the past we found that participants have more commonly lost lots of weight at the start of the challenge and dropped out of participation with a thud.
This time round, (we still imposed the rigorous exercise regime) but we’d developed a new nutrition system. It’s simple and basic stuff, but delivered a little differently. “Challengers” have still experienced big weight losses (between 5 and 8kg losses are common), but those losses have been gradual and consistent over the whole 8 weeks of the challenge and should be sustainable.
We’ve taken the challengers’ feed back and improved the nutrition system and we will be releasing that next year as a stand alone program. Other member feedback indicated that we needed to provide education around staying motivated, implementing changes and resisting cravings, among other things. So we’ll be teaming up again with our psychology team to provide workshops focusing on these things too.
2014 will be the year when we will look to science and technology to help our members. While “science and technology” may not be super inspirational in itself, there have been some new and exciting developments in the wider field of exercise.
We’ve been investigating a new system that measures exercise intensity. As an exerciser, you may want to lose weight for example (although your goal could be to become fitter and run 10kms in 1 hour…or whatever). With this goal in mind, there is a certain intensity that is optimal for you to work out at. Exercise intensity is very subjective, your trainer might tell you to work out at such-and-such intensity, but until now you’d have no way of measuring and tracking it. This new system will give you instant feed back and will allow your trainer to help you in a more specific way – all so that you reach your goals faster and more efficiently.
Soon in the new year, we’ll be bringing on another of the very successful Tribe programs – Tribe Core. This could very well be their strongest program. It works on the areas that every woman wants to work on – abs, butt and thighs. From the success of Tribe Fit and Tribe Life, we have every confidence that Tribe Core will do exactly what it says “on the packet”.
In a word, in 2014 our mission will be to ensure that every member achieves their goals. And we’ll do this by tying nutrition and exercise together using technology and positive though patterns.
So, stay tuned and watch this space! To all our members – Thank you for a great 2013, we’re looking forward to 2014.
Merry Christmas and see you all in the New Year!