Thursday, December 18, 2008

Fitness Franchise With A Difference

“Catering for a demographic that didn't like gyms was the key to building a franchise empire in the highly competitive fitness industry. Executive Fitness Management health club managing director Matthew Lindblom has spent his entire career in health clubs and gyms. But his experience as a personal trainer made him realise many people did not feel comfortable in the gym. When he started part-time work at EFM Health Clubs in 1997, Mr Lindblom discovered there was another way to approach fitness. ‘Our clients are more interested in the health benefits than the exercise part, so we focus our culture around that,' he said. ‘There are no mirrors, you can wear whatever you're comfortable in and we limit the weights so the body-building types many people find intimidating don't use the facilities.' Mr Lindblom said this approach had attracted a different demographic to the business. ‘About 65 per cent of our clients are female and the average age is 45,' he said. ‘It's a bit of a change to what you'd find in ordinary gyms.' EFM Health Clubs also offer specialised programs outside the traditional gym locations. ‘We have a hospital program that is mostly for staff, like doctors and nurses, who might not have the time to go to a gym outside of work,' Mr Lindblom said. ‘We also have a school program that's aimed at the entire community - students, teachers, parents and people who live in the surrounding area.' Three years after starting work for the company, Mr Lindblom bought the business and the franchise has grown steadily since. It now has 55 health clubs across Australia, including 37 in South Australia.”,22606,24819317-37562,00.html

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