Club Insider

The Club Insider Archives: January 2023

Laury Hammel and Longfellow Clubs
Celebrating 50 Years of Serving the Community

By: Norm Cates

Norm CatesNorm CatesIt's not every day we get to share the story of someone who is celebrating 50 years of service to this great industry, but today is one of those days. Today, we celebrate Laury Hammel, Owner and Founder of Longfellow Health Clubs. Contained within the text that follows, you will experience more stories, lessons and advice than we likely have ever brought forth in one single edition during our 30 years of publishing. Whether this is your day one, or like Laury, your 50th year in the industry, in this cover story, you will find something you do not know, can learn from and implement to create success. That's a worst-case scenario. More likely, though, is you will learn multiple things! Because of this, I urge you to read everything Laury intimately shares with us. Assimilate it into your being. Then, share it with others. You will be so happy you did. Read More

Exercise IS Medicine
By: Mike Alpert

Mike AlpertMike AlpertJanuary is usually one of, if not the busiest month of the entire year for health clubs and gyms. In past years, it was the month when people made resolutions to get active and eat better after two months of overindulging on food, beverages and desserts. It was the month when many people sat on their couch, looked at their bulging waistline and finally said, "it is time for a change." So, they bought some workout clothes, a pair of running shoes and joined a health club with good intentions of getting in better shape. Read More

Annual Risk Management Assessment
By: Paul R. Bedard, Esquire

Paul R. Bedard, EsquirePaul R. Bedard, EsquireEach New Year should serve as a reminder to assess your club's potential legal exposure and the effectiveness of your risk management efforts. Premises liability claims, medical emergencies, employment disputes and COVID-related operational concerns typically constitute the bulk of the potential legal exposure for most health clubs. The following information will summarize these primary legal risks. Preparing for these legal risks has been covered in greater detail within prior editions of Club Insider, along with various topics within the realm of risk management. Read More

Not a Boom, but a Slow Burn
The Return of Our Gyms

By: Sara Kooperman, JD

Sara Kooperman, JDSara Kooperman, JDAs 2023 begins, and our world continues to recover from the pandemic of the past 2+ years, reflections on several aspects of the fitness industry are only natural. Particularly, thoughts on how fitness facilities, its employees and members are beginning to come out the other side. Are members back to their regular workout routines, have employees returned to work, have systems been altered and what direction is the future of fitness taking? Read More

Five Ways of Driving a Culture of Innovation
By: Jim Thomas

Jim ThomasJim ThomasWe can all agree that a business must be innovative and revolutionary to thrive. As a company's CEO, you must find and implement every strategy to create a culture of innovation and facilitate a healthy company atmosphere. But, how to create a culture of innovation? What department can you start with? Read More

The Client We Need the Most Hates Us
We Have Driven the High-End Client Out of Our Gyms

By: Thomas Plummer

Thomas PlummerThomas PlummerIf there is one, real life business comparison to the modern fitness industry, it would be the cheap grocery store chains. Huge physical plants, filled full of cheap food, sold cheaply to cheap people looking for bargains. Marginal service, performed by bored people, paid low end wages to stock shelves and who mumble when asked simple questions, such as where is the cranberry sauce? What once was a small neighborhood convenience are now megastores trying to offer everything to every shopper. Read More

Resolve to Be the Resolution They Keep
By: Terry Browning

Terry BrowningTerry BrowningEvery January, people know they're looking for something new, something healthier, something that will work (hopefully, this time). They're also looking for motivation, community, connection and inspiration. They just might not realize it... yet. This time of year, every year, we're given a gift that few other industries can count on. We're assured a stream of new, renewed, recharged, looking-to-commit traffic. We're in people's sites, in their goals and in their budgets. Yet, as I'm sure you're aware, the majority of fitness resolutions are quickly broken, some even within the first month. Read More

Alan G. Schwartz Passes Away at Age 91
CHICAGO, IL - Alan G. Schwartz passed away on December 2nd, 2022, surrounded by his children, grandchildren, and wife of 64 years. Over the span of his 91 years, the scope of his influence and the list of his accomplishments made it seem as if he'd lived two lifetimes. Still, it wasn't enough for him. To the end, his "to do" list exceeded the limits of mortal imagination. Read More

Norm's Notes for January 2023
By: Norm Cates

Norm CatesNorm CatesHELLO EVERYBODY!!! This is your Club Insider Founder and Tribal Leader Since 1993 excitedly checking in with our 349th monthly edition of this home-based "Labor of Love" we call Club Insider! YAHOO!!! Happy, Healthy New Year, as this January, 2023 Edition leaves us with just one month to go before we will publish our 350th Edition, a Milestone Edition in February, 2023! So, STAY TUNED folks as we dig in now to share recent news and thoughts with you at the beginning of our 30th year of publishing Club Insider! Read More

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TG The Gym