POST YOUR JOB ONLINE
Free ezine/digital edition sign up
Jobs   News   Features   Video    Products   Magazine      Advertise  
HCM People
Dan Bond

We’d explained leading up to the lockdown that if everyone decided to freeze or cancel, then there would be a possibility of not having a gym to come back to


Can you give us a short overview of your career background?
I started training under the CrossFit methodology in early 2012, began working in the fitness industry later the same year and opened CrossFit Fort Ashton in 2015. My time in the fitness sector has been a mix of me working as a personal trainer at David Lloyd, coaching generic fitness classes at local gyms and coaching at a number of Bristol based CrossFit boxes.

How was the Fort Ashton club tracking before COVID hit?
Pre-lockdown, CrossFit Fort Ashton was as busy as it’s ever been. Fully booked classes with waiting lists, consistent joining enquiries and a solid membership base of around 300. Obviously our core programme is CrossFit, but alongside that we also run a weightlifting programme and more recently we had begun a weekly gymnastics class.

How have you looked after your members during lockdown?
When the announcement was made that we would be closing, we actioned a few protocols that we felt would help our members whilst they had no access to the gym.

We lent the majority of our equipment out to members. Barbells, weights, kettlebells, dumbbells, sandbags, skipping ropes and more. We tried to make sure as many members as possible had something.

We began a ‘home workout’ programme. This consisted of daily workouts, which had bodyweight options for people with no kit, and limited kit options for those with something. We also created a YouTube channel where we uploaded demonstration and explanation videos to go alongside the daily workouts.

We began online classes via Zoom; this way people could still receive coaching while they were training. On top of the Zoom workout classes, we’ve also been doing a Friday night social on Zoom, which has included quizzes, scavenger hunts, Bingo, games of Cards Against Humanity and more.

Basically, we’ve been doing as much as we can to keep the members engaged with us and to keep them fit throughout lockdown. We’ve also done some live Q&As, and nutrition content with the coaches.

In what other ways have you kept in touch with members during closure?
Alongside our online classes and all of the above, we’ve been sending out a weekly newsletter every Sunday evening. This consists of relevant information regarding the gym and all that’s going on, plus useful information and content such as stretching and mobility videos, shout-outs to members on their birthdays and just letting everybody know what’s happening and that we’re being proactive in our approach to the situation.

We also sent every member a hand written, wax sealed letter – a little note to let them know we’re thinking about them and that we’re here if they need us.

How have you managed memberships during this time?
We closed at the end of March. We took payments for April as usual and during that month we had around 10 per cent of members freeze. From there we reduced our membership fees by 40 per cent, and since doing that we’ve only had a few people freeze.

We’d explained leading up to lockdown that if everyone decided to freeze or cancel then there would be a possibility of not having a gym to come back to. The culture and community at CrossFit Fort Ashton is incredible and the support from members has been amazing. We’ve been able to keep some staff wages going and make some improvements to the actual gym space.

How did you feel about the controversies surrounding Crossfit CEO Greg Glassman [who resigned after posting a racist tweet]?

What I will say is this; I communicated our position in relation to this matter to our members and it has been fully supported. We didn’t agree with Greg Glassman’s comments and HQ’s silence [in relation to Black Lives Matter] doesn’t align with our values as a gym.

However, I do believe change can be better achieved from within and at the time of this interview we will be remaining as a CrossFit affiliate.

Do you have advice for other operators on how to look after members during difficult times?
From what I’ve witnessed, especially locally in Bristol, everyone has been on top of this and doing a great job. Nationally, most CrossFit gym owners have been doing similar things and the sharing of information has been next level. The community within CrossFit has been invaluable to us.

My advice would be to keep members in the loop. Even if you’re unsure, communicate that. It’ll be appreciated over silence and uncertainty.

A hand-written note with wax seal was sent to every member
Bond has made improvements to the gym during lockdown
FEATURED SUPPLIERS

Celebrating the return of group exercise – Les Mills to host free ‘Fastest Way Back’ livestream event for the industry
Last month (May) saw the welcomed return of group exercise classes. Group exercise is the heartbeat for so many clubs, with in-studio and instructor-led live experiences at the pinnacle. [more...]

INEOS: The future of hand-sanitising
As gyms begin to reopen, cleanliness and hygiene remain an essential part of ensuring staff and members are confident to return. [more...]
+ More featured suppliers  
COMPANY PROFILES
Everyone Active

Everyone Active operates leisure centres in partnership with local councils across the UK. Today, Ev [more...]
+ More profiles  
CATALOGUE GALLERY
 
+ More catalogues  

VIDEO GALLERY

CPASE creates unforgettable luxury member experience at new boutique club with Technogym
Technogym has equipped Clare Stobart's new boutique health club – CPASE. Find out more...
+ More videos  

DIRECTORY
+ More directory  
DIARY

 

19-19 Jun 2021

Nutrition Coaching Summit

Zoom, United States
20-21 Jun 2021

International Esthetics, Cosmetics & Spa Conference

Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas, United States
+ More diary  
 
ABOUT LEISURE MEDIA
LEISURE MEDIA MAGAZINES
LEISURE MEDIA HANDBOOKS
LEISURE MEDIA WEBSITES
LEISURE MEDIA PRODUCT SEARCH
 
HCM
LEISURE OPPORTUNITIES
HEALTH CLUB HANDBOOK
PRINT SUBSCRIPTIONS
FREE DIGITAL SUBSCRIPTIONS
ADVERTISE . CONTACT US

Leisure Media
Tel: +44 (0)1462 431385

©Cybertrek 2021
Jobs   News   Products   Magazine
HCM People
Dan Bond

We’d explained leading up to the lockdown that if everyone decided to freeze or cancel, then there would be a possibility of not having a gym to come back to


Can you give us a short overview of your career background?
I started training under the CrossFit methodology in early 2012, began working in the fitness industry later the same year and opened CrossFit Fort Ashton in 2015. My time in the fitness sector has been a mix of me working as a personal trainer at David Lloyd, coaching generic fitness classes at local gyms and coaching at a number of Bristol based CrossFit boxes.

How was the Fort Ashton club tracking before COVID hit?
Pre-lockdown, CrossFit Fort Ashton was as busy as it’s ever been. Fully booked classes with waiting lists, consistent joining enquiries and a solid membership base of around 300. Obviously our core programme is CrossFit, but alongside that we also run a weightlifting programme and more recently we had begun a weekly gymnastics class.

How have you looked after your members during lockdown?
When the announcement was made that we would be closing, we actioned a few protocols that we felt would help our members whilst they had no access to the gym.

We lent the majority of our equipment out to members. Barbells, weights, kettlebells, dumbbells, sandbags, skipping ropes and more. We tried to make sure as many members as possible had something.

We began a ‘home workout’ programme. This consisted of daily workouts, which had bodyweight options for people with no kit, and limited kit options for those with something. We also created a YouTube channel where we uploaded demonstration and explanation videos to go alongside the daily workouts.

We began online classes via Zoom; this way people could still receive coaching while they were training. On top of the Zoom workout classes, we’ve also been doing a Friday night social on Zoom, which has included quizzes, scavenger hunts, Bingo, games of Cards Against Humanity and more.

Basically, we’ve been doing as much as we can to keep the members engaged with us and to keep them fit throughout lockdown. We’ve also done some live Q&As, and nutrition content with the coaches.

In what other ways have you kept in touch with members during closure?
Alongside our online classes and all of the above, we’ve been sending out a weekly newsletter every Sunday evening. This consists of relevant information regarding the gym and all that’s going on, plus useful information and content such as stretching and mobility videos, shout-outs to members on their birthdays and just letting everybody know what’s happening and that we’re being proactive in our approach to the situation.

We also sent every member a hand written, wax sealed letter – a little note to let them know we’re thinking about them and that we’re here if they need us.

How have you managed memberships during this time?
We closed at the end of March. We took payments for April as usual and during that month we had around 10 per cent of members freeze. From there we reduced our membership fees by 40 per cent, and since doing that we’ve only had a few people freeze.

We’d explained leading up to lockdown that if everyone decided to freeze or cancel then there would be a possibility of not having a gym to come back to. The culture and community at CrossFit Fort Ashton is incredible and the support from members has been amazing. We’ve been able to keep some staff wages going and make some improvements to the actual gym space.

How did you feel about the controversies surrounding Crossfit CEO Greg Glassman [who resigned after posting a racist tweet]?

What I will say is this; I communicated our position in relation to this matter to our members and it has been fully supported. We didn’t agree with Greg Glassman’s comments and HQ’s silence [in relation to Black Lives Matter] doesn’t align with our values as a gym.

However, I do believe change can be better achieved from within and at the time of this interview we will be remaining as a CrossFit affiliate.

Do you have advice for other operators on how to look after members during difficult times?
From what I’ve witnessed, especially locally in Bristol, everyone has been on top of this and doing a great job. Nationally, most CrossFit gym owners have been doing similar things and the sharing of information has been next level. The community within CrossFit has been invaluable to us.

My advice would be to keep members in the loop. Even if you’re unsure, communicate that. It’ll be appreciated over silence and uncertainty.

A hand-written note with wax seal was sent to every member
Bond has made improvements to the gym during lockdown
LATEST NEWS
Exercise should be prescribed for depression, finds report from the John W Brick Mental Health Foundation
People with depression should be prescribed exercise and then monitored for the first 12 weeks of their regime – similar to the way physical therapy is used to help people recover from injuries.
Strenuous exercise increases chance of developing motor neurone disease in some people
Frequent strenuous exercise increases the risk of developing motor neurone disease (MND) in people with certain genetic profiles.
Everyone On Demand signs four new content providers
Everyone Active has expanded its digital fitness platform, Everyone on Demand, with the addition of four new content partners.
Ban on commercial evictions to be extended until 2022
The UK government has extended the ban on commercial evictions until 25 March 2022.
Health clubs and gyms need more support to survive delay to Step 4
Operating a further four weeks at reduced capacity will place serious pressure on English fitness facilities – if the government doesn't urgently provide additional financial support.
Oxford Council offering homeless people free access to leisure centres
Oxford City Council is people experiencing homelessness free access to leisure centres.
IHRSA names Elizabeth Clark president and CEO
IHRSA has appointed Elizabeth Clark as its new president and CEO.
RSG brings John Reed brand to London
Rainer Schaller's RSG Group is bringing its John Reed brand of health clubs to the UK for the first time.
Icon rebrands as iFIT Health & Fitness
Fitness equipment supplier, Icon Health & Fitness, has rebranded and changed its corporate name to iFIT Health & Fitness.
Government 'needs to set out business support' to avoid cliff-edge moment for fitness sector
The government needs to urgently set out its plans to support physical activity and fitness businesses, if it intends to delay Step 4 of its COVID-19 lockdown exit plan.
Glofox to offer health clubs and studios 'instant access' to financing
Glofox will begin offering health clubs, gyms and fitness studios instant access to financing, following a deal struck with Stripe Capital.
Exclusive: Bricks Group to launch its gym chain, U Time, in the UK and Europe
Hong Kong-based Bricks Group has revealed plans to launch its health club chain, U Time, in Europe and the UK.
+ More news   
 
FEATURED SUPPLIERS

Celebrating the return of group exercise – Les Mills to host free ‘Fastest Way Back’ livestream event for the industry
Last month (May) saw the welcomed return of group exercise classes. Group exercise is the heartbeat for so many clubs, with in-studio and instructor-led live experiences at the pinnacle. [more...]

INEOS: The future of hand-sanitising
As gyms begin to reopen, cleanliness and hygiene remain an essential part of ensuring staff and members are confident to return. [more...]
+ More featured suppliers  
COMPANY PROFILES
Everyone Active

Everyone Active operates leisure centres in partnership with local councils across the UK. Today, Ev [more...]
+ More profiles  
CATALOGUE GALLERY
+ More catalogues  

VIDEO GALLERY

CPASE creates unforgettable luxury member experience at new boutique club with Technogym
Technogym has equipped Clare Stobart's new boutique health club – CPASE. Find out more...
+ More videos  

DIRECTORY
+ More directory  
DIARY

 

19-19 Jun 2021

Nutrition Coaching Summit

Zoom, United States
20-21 Jun 2021

International Esthetics, Cosmetics & Spa Conference

Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas, United States
+ More diary  
 


ADVERTISE . CONTACT US

Leisure Media
Tel: +44 (0)1462 431385

©Cybertrek 2021

ABOUT LEISURE MEDIA
LEISURE MEDIA MAGAZINES
LEISURE MEDIA HANDBOOKS
LEISURE MEDIA WEBSITES
LEISURE MEDIA PRODUCT SEARCH
PRINT SUBSCRIPTIONS
FREE DIGITAL SUBSCRIPTIONS