I hope this communication finds you well…
While the old adage ‘Time flies when you’re having fun’ is certainly true – Three weeks since having opened our doors I am keen to start lobbying for an amendment to be made as follows; ‘Time flies when you’re having fun, and hits warp speed when you launch a gym!’ As with all things that matter to us, when you see the development and birth of something you are passionate about and responsible for, there is a certain element of uncertainty and worry as to how people will receive your ‘baby/product/passion’. One of the great joys of being involved in the first club of a small group as opposed to a fitness industry corporate is the opportunity to truly help influence the direction of a brand and product. When your product is your passion, how it’s received becomes so much more personal. What will that first school report look like? Will people like it as much as we do?
Three weeks post launch, the nerves are starting to subside and confidence starts to grow as to what has gone well and what we will do differently next time. So what have we learned so far? Lots! Have we got everything correct? Certainly not! What are we most conscious of? We owe our success to the commitment, support and positivity our every single one of you – our member base! Without your commitment to us and at times understanding with regard to the usual teething problems you’d expect and we certainly experienced, we simply would not be where we are today. It is a sad fitness industry fact that when opening a new site, a large proportion of new members leave upon opening because they simply did not like what they saw and more importantly experienced. As we approach the end of month one I am delighted to note that we have seen the smallest of leaver numbers and predominantly this handful of people owing to them simply leaving London. We are hopeful that this is a sign that what we are trying to create is resonating with you all and as ever any and all constructive feedback about how you’d like to see us develop together is gladly welcomed and actively encouraged!
All being said though, as ever so much of what we see in life is transferable and thus I wanted to look at our 5 key learnings (to date) from a gym launch and how they can be applied to your (URBAN) fitness life!
1 – Proper preparation and planning prevents p……..
A gym launch, like any other new business launch, is a hugely complex project – with build works, recruitment, kit installs and so on all to be managed. The key here is that a well thought out schedule is in place and followed to allow for adequate completion. Does this mean things will always go to plan? NO! However a good plan means that things where possible will happen consistently and as needed. The same is true of training. It is common place for people to want to make changes in lifestyle and often people start off making well intentioned but dramatic changes in a wholesale fashion. Sadly, as is often the way with dramatic changes, they are harder to keep to and become non sustainable. The key to success actually lies in the consistent application of initially small and manageable changes, which in turn can develop as ones comfort levels with them does. Indeed the key word here is CONSISTENT. At UFL we have developed our GAINS programmes which serve to cater to any and all such training in needs in a consistent and sustainable way. Does this mean that if you miss a session here or there you won’t achieve what you want? Of course not. What we are saying its that it’s better to train a manageable amount over a number of months, and not beat yourself up if sometimes work or your personal life gets in the way, as long as generally you are following the right programme.
2 – Positive people make positive outcomes
Whilst working through a complex build and launch process, as you would expect, you are often met by a number of unexpected curve balls. In overcoming such obstacles, the solution often lives as much in the approach of those trying to solve it as it does the solution itself. Similarly of the people surrounding you are solutions focussed and upbeat, on the days where you aren’t 100% you can feed from there energy and vice versa. Indeed a positive mind set simply opens itself to better outcomes. This is true whether looking at how to overcome damp proofing issues in a build or achieving your training goals. If when you turn up to train, you have a clear idea of what you want to do and you have decided to approach things with excitement and energy, you will get the most from your workout. Although what happens when I have had a rough day and I am tired I here you utter? The answer again sits in the surrounding yourself with positive people. As I hope you have already experienced we have a uniquely experienced and passionate team in club that are solely purposed with helping you get the most from your time with us. Feeling low and need motivation, come see us! Similarly, train with friends (the positive type). You will achieve so much more training with somebody than alone.
3 – Quality beats quantity
When working toward a completion date there is all ways an urge to see jobs completed as quickly as possible. This can lead to the desire to throw as many bodies at a task as possible to get the work done. However such an approach can mean jobs are rushed, and not completed to the standard they would be if done at a slower pace by the most skilled of professionals. The same mantra is absolutely true of training and can be seen in the way we have selected our equipment from weights machines through to the lighting system. Indeed when looking at equipment we wanted to ensure that our members reaped the maximum possible benefit from every bit of effort. Our weights machines for example are unique to the market in that they have specifically designed cams that ensure the optimum and varied levels of force are applied throughout the full range of an exercise to ensure optimal muscle stimulation. Indeed even our lighting system is designed to modulate the wavelengths of light emitted throughout the day so as to ensure optimum alertness without making you feel wide awake when you go home to bed (as can happen from staring at screens all day). Similarly in your training our GAINS programmes are tailored to ensure the most efficient activity to maximise results for your hard work.
4 – Be open minded
Having seen our product and site evolve it is fair to say the journey thus far has been one very much of evolution. What was initially seen as the best or correct way to do something has often been challenged and changed. As the saying goes there is more than one way to skin a cat. The same is true of exercise, with so many different forms of training there really are a multitude of ways to stimulate the body into responding. The key is to establish what you find most enjoyable and effective. The team are on hand to help with everything from helping improve and perfect exercise as well as finding what exercises are best suited to helping you achieve your goals. Similarly, if a piece of kit is in use, ask us what else to do for the same benefit – there really are some great options out there!
We are all different and a one size fits all approach simply does not work. Look out for our technique seminars coming soon!
5 – Set goals
When UFL was conceived, the aim was to create a truly unique fitness experience, offering the best equipment and coaches in the industry, at a reasonable price. We hope, that while we know we have opportunity to develop, we have laid good foundations! Indeed without knowing what we wanted to achieve, we would have never achieved it. On our journey to date, it was vital to break down our longer term goals into shorter term, more manageable tasks. This is absolutely true of training success. Decide what it is you want to achieve, and then break that down into manageable chunks. If you know what you want to achieve, but do not know how to get there, fear not, that is where we come in. For help simply see a member of the fitness team and we will help get you set with a GAINS programme that is both goal specific, individually tailored, sustainable and more importantly fun.
In closing, I am keen to thank each and every one of your for being so supportive, open minded and positive in your response to our launch. We have been delighted with the atmosphere in club and that is in no small part down to you, our valued members. We look forward to growing as a brand and as a group with you.
Yours in Training
Jon and all of the team.