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Gyms wise up to potential of extreme challenges trend

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The growing popularity of extreme fitness challenges such as Iron Man events and triathlons has led to a raft of new training tie-ups, as health clubs scamper to offer their expertise and facilities to a booming market.

Endurance events have become increasingly prevalent in recent years, with extreme fitness identified as a major trend in the Fitness Foresight section of the 2015 Health Club Management Handbook (p.20)

Since then, the industry has seen Virgin Active announce an exclusive partnership with Tough Mudder, while low cost gym chain Xercise4Less has this week unveiled a new tie-up with Total Warrior.

Holding six events in 2015, across Leeds, The Lake District and Edinburgh, each Total Warrior pushes participants to their limits across a brutal obstacle course challenge. The partnership sees Xercise4Less become the “official place to train” for people taking part in a Total Warrior event, and it will also urge its 200,000 strong membership base to take up the challenge.

Various studies have shown that goal-specific motivation is key to engagement, so the move to encourage gym members to engage with the challenge appears to be a smart one. It comes at a time when several other high-profile gym chains are forensically examining what motivates members. Fitness First is currently in the middle of a £270m (US$408m, €346m) four-year transformation centred on the science of group motivation, while The Gym Group recently published research identifying five core personality types that reflect the motivation of gymgoers.

As well as motivating its own members to get involved, Xercise4Less will be offering discounted memberships rate to anyone who registers to take part in a Total Warrior event, as well as rolling out tailored “Warrior Training” at each site across the group.

“When taking on an exercise regime, facing challenges and overcoming obstacles is all part of the journey, whether that is a physical challenge such as losing weight or a mental obstacle such as improving confidence,” said Xercise4Less COO Stuart Perrin.

“Total Warrior understand this and live by the same ethos, making us the perfect match. Xercise4Less is all about bringing fitness and fun to everyone and what better way to do that than with an exciting course like Total Warrior”.

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The growing popularity of extreme fitness challenges such as Iron Man events and triathlons has led to a raft of new training tie-ups, as health clubs scamper to offer their expertise and facilities to a booming market.
Consumers are increasingly willing to splash out on extreme endurance events / txking /


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