At Fitness Space Surrey Quays every tool possible is employed by the team of athletes and personal trainers who coach gym members to their target fitness, from mobile phone Apps with bespoke training programmes to the latest exercise machines fully integrated with each member’s device and profile.
With DNA Testing to assess health and training predispositions, monthly body composition analysis, personal bespoke programmes uploaded to the club’s App and classes with real-time heart rate feedback, Fitness Space Surrey Quays is taking a tech-driven approach to health and fitness. It’s an approach that is welcomed by its clientele, and most importantly: gets results.
We spoke with the club’s General Manager Ben Ayling, a former Elite level 5k and 10k runner who also holds a UKSCA accreditation in Strength & Conditioning. Alongside coaching within various premium clubs for over a decade and running his own coaching business, he also helped set up and manage the gym at The Ned, a 5 Star hotel and private members club.
‘As soon as a member signs up with us we do a DNA Test with a non-invasive cheek swab, which takes around 60 seconds,’ explained Ben Ayling. Within two weeks the results are back from the lab, providing an insight into the new club member’s genetic predispositions for:
- Recovery Rate (ability to remove free radicals)
- Strength vs Power Genes present
- VO2 Max Potential
- Carbohydrate Sensitivity
- Saturated Fat Sensitivity
Using this information, their personal coach can plan or modify a member’s training programme and personal training sessions, in order to get the results they want, with more certainty. ‘It makes training far more efficient and bespoke to each member,’ added Ben.
‘One of our most valuable pieces of technology in our gym is our Tanita™ Body Composition machine, which uses Bioelectric Impedance Analysis (BIA) technology,’ Ben continued. ‘When you stand on a Tanita monitor, a very low, safe electrical signal is sent from four metal electrodes through your feet to your legs and abdomen. The electrical signal passes quickly through water present in hydrated muscle tissue but meets resistance when it hits fat tissue. This gives us one of the most thorough breakdowns of body composition available. It provides info on: Body Fat %, Muscle Mass, Hydration Levels, Bone Mass, Metabolic Rate, Metabolic Age, Muscle Scores and Segmental Analysis (allowing us to see the split of body fat and muscle mass for every limb).’
Members at Fitness Space in Surrey Quays are encouraged to use the Tanita™ Body Composition Monitor every month, so they can see their progression in real time. ‘It keeps everyone honest,’ said Ben, ‘providing the extra motivation or accountability needed each and every month.’
The Fitness Space App is the bridge between the club’s expert trainers and its members on a day-to-day basis. All members’ bespoke training programmes are uploaded to their App, with coach notes, rest times and videos to reinforce correct techniques. The App allows members to seamlessly log in to the top of the range Technogym™ equipment to track sessions and monitor progress.
‘The App is like an extension of our experienced coaches,’ explained Ben. ‘So when members are doing the extra sessions their trainer has set outside of coached sessions, they know exactly what to do and are not lost when they come into the gym. It helps remove any uncertainty many people face when they walk into a gym without a structured session plan or end goal.’
The App also acts as a training diary and progress monitor by logging each body composition analysis onto the results page. Members can show their friends / family / colleagues their progress and the coaching team often see client social media posts of screenshots from the App’s results pages, celebrating major milestones or progressions.
The exercise equipment throughout the gym is undeniably state-of-the-art linking easily with member’s Apps and personal settings. Ben, an experienced Elite runner, described how this quality kit supports every gym member, whatever their level of fitness. ‘We’re very fortunate to have Technogym as our equipment partner. They invest a huge % of their profits back into research and development, ensuring that they continue to be cutting edge year-on-year.’
‘We treat our members as “everyday athletes”,’ he continued, ‘ensuring they move well, are injury-free and have strong foundations. Technogym equipment allows us to programme exercises that are functional, dynamic and loaded appropriately to get the desired responses to quality training.’
Members can log in via the App using the bespoke programme their coach has put together and the equipment will start at the correct resistance / speed, changing accordingly based upon their coach’s programming.
Ben was keen to demonstrate how the intelligent use of technology really helps members train efficiently, keeping their sights on their goals at all times. ‘Our Connect Bike Class is a great example of how technology is integrated seamlessly, while maximising clients’ individual performances,’ he said.
‘Members can log in to a bike and connect up their heart rate monitor, which will then in-turn put their profile up on our projector screen. The coach then runs the class, simultaneously monitoring each member’s Power (Watts), Cadence (RPM), Heart Rate % and Resistance Level. This allows the coach to make sure everyone is set up correctly and sitting in the right Heart Rate zone for each phase of the class. It eliminates strength / fitness differences because every member’s 90% is relative to their body / fitness levels.’
A new era of training has arrived, hand in hand with technology, bringing a science and measurability to the entire process. With a New Year and fresh resolutions in sight, it’s a perfect time to talk to Ben and his team about how you can be a part of it too.