European News: IHRSA’s Growing Footprint

    IHRSA works to establish new ties with organizations in the U.K., Denmark, and Sweden to better serve the global market.

    IHRSA isn’t the only organization making an impact in Europe: Australian-based F45 recently opened a new headquarters in London. Meanwhile, eGym in Germany received a $20 million grant to help combat Type 2 diabetes.

    IHRSA Increases Its European Presence by Acquiring Three New Partners

    In January, IHRSA entered into three promising new strategic partnerships in the U.K., Denmark, and Sweden.

    Reps UK, the country’s largest independent register of exercise professionals, has joined with IHRSA to offer its constituency—both individuals and clubs—the opportunity to join the association. Reps UK currently represents more than 20,000 health and fitness professionals and corporate partners.

    “This prestigious agreement will give our members, who choose to join IHRSA, additional education, research, and networking materials as they progress through their qualification journey,” says Andy Whiting, the group business development director for Reps UK. “This agreement also is in line with our intention to continue working with international partners, as is the case with the International Confederation of Registers of Exercise Professionals (ICREPs).”

    IHRSA also has increased its presence in Denmark and Sweden by partnering with two local gym networks, Klub Danmark and Klubb Sverige. Together, they represent over 250 clubs, offering educational programs, as well as discounts, for their members—independent health club owners and operators who are committed to improving their businesses.

    The partnership with IHRSA gives the members of both networks the opportunity to join IHRSA, and participate in IHRSA events and educational programs.

    Australian Franchise F45 Plans Major Expansion in Europe in 2019

    F45, the fitness training franchise based in Matraville, New South Wales, Australia, set the stage for greater growth in Europe this year by opening its European headquarters in London at the end of 2018.

    The company, which specializes in innovative 45-minute high-intensity group exercise workouts, has quickly expanded its brand worldwide, opening more than 1,300 outlets in nearly 40 countries over the last five years.

    “While boutique fitness is showing early signs of life in Europe, it’s yet to gain mainstream attention,” says Luke Armstrong, F45’s global sales director. “What distinguishes F45 from other boutique concepts is its ability to attract consumers who, otherwise, wouldn’t consider training in a gym, let alone opt for personal training. Last year was a seminal year for us in Europe, and 2019 will see even further expansion.”

    F45’s greatest presence is in the U.K., where, last year, it opened some 10 clubs, more than any other country. It also broke ground in Ireland, Holland, Switzerland, Finland, and the Czech Republic. This year, it plans to open its first franchise in Moscow, and to pay serious attention to the Western European heavyweights—Germany, in particular.

    eGym Global Funds Initiative to Help Control Type 2 Diabetes

    It’s a well-known fact that the incidence of diabetes is climbing. Last year, according to one estimate, more than 500 million people worldwide suffered from the disease, with individuals over age 65 afflicted the most. In 2016, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported that it was the seventh leading cause of death.

    eGym, GmbH, a fitness equipment and software company headquartered in Munich, Germany, is determined to do something about the alarming trend.

    At the end of 2018, it secured $20 million from NGN Capital, LLC, a venture capital firm based in New York City, to fund the international rollout of its Metabolic Fit software. This program is designed to stabilize blood sugar levels through utilization of an automated strength-endurance training regimen.

    eGym, which now serves some 1,300 gyms worldwide, developed the approach on the basis of a German study conducted at the University of Leipzig. The results of the study demonstrated that, in 39% of the cases, the regimen reversed the effects of Type 2 diabetes. The Metabolic Fit program also helps individuals who have been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes control their blood pressure and body weight.

    More than 2,800 unique users have already made use of the program worldwide, primarily in Germany, the Netherlands, and Spain, where the majority of eGym’s partner gyms are located.

    Author avatar

    Florian Cartoux @florian_cartoux

    Florian Cartoux is director of the IHRSA European office in Brussels, Belgium. He's in charge of growing IHRSA's membership in Europe, and attendance at IHRSA events. Being fluent in French, German, and English, Florian spends the best part of his time visiting the four corners of Europe meeting members and prospects. In his spare time, he tries to find time to play the drums, and be a good dad with his two daughters.