Shaping the future of fitness

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In 2012, the health club industry generated an estimated $75.7bn in revenue from more than 153,000 clubs serving 131 million members worldwide.

This is according to the 2013 IHRSA Global Report: The State of the Health Club Industry, with the 2014 report expected to reveal even higher figures for 2013, as the health club scene continues to grow and grow.

To put it bluntly, it’s massively profitable industry. But it’s also highly fragmented and often faced with continual changes, such as the demographics of users, as well as the challenge of new competitors entering the market.

One way to deal with these uncertainties is to conquer uncharted territory by mastering and combining the industry’s best parts. Something Dubai’s OP Integrated Lifestyle Centre is succeeding in doing right now.

“It’s is so much more than just a gym, just a nutrition place, or a place where you come for coaching,” says Carolyn Coe, CEO and business director of the JLT-based venue.

“I would say that we are in the lifestyle well-being industry because it’s a holistic approach.”

In an engrossing conversation lasting an hour and a half, she covers an incredible amount of ground, and shows me a lot that proves this centre is a huge advancement from traditional gyms.

A quick tour through the centre’s various parts provides insights into a new breed of centre, revealing a place where advanced technology can measure your body posture, the team put you through a ‘BRAINMASS’ assessment or test “everything to get a real idea about what’s going on with your body”.

Add to that adult-sized playground, state-of-the-art heart rate monitors to see how many calories exercisers have burnt, or what their maximum effort points are. All available on TV screens, of course.

“Everything that we do is measurable,” says Coe.

To finish the tour, she welcomes me into her office where her Skyrocket coaching sessions take place, pointing out: “If my husband [Matt Coe, the centre’s CEO and creative director] has a client who is challenged to keep with the consistency, or not getting the results they are looking for, he will send him or her to me.

“Because it’s about their beliefs in their own abilities, capabilities, and what they are telling to themselves.”

Before we delve into the details of this UAE-born brand, she explains that the Skyrocket Sessions series of coaching programmes (20 lessons to cause immediate change and acceleration in one’s life) is her “piece of the two that came together”.

The other piece – achieving excellence in physical performance – is in the competence of her husband, Matt Coe, a former professional British rugby player and a certified corrective exercise and functional movement specialist.

He is also the curator of the Dubai Fitness Competition, endorsed under the patronage of HH Sheikh Majid Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, chairman of the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority.

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