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The Gym Group revolutionises training for midlife women with industry-first programme

The Gym Group leads the sector in investing in midlife women
Fifty trainers have now completed the Female Health First programme
A further 100 gym staff will undertake the training this year
The Well HQ is delivering the programme and also working with the Football Association
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Following a successful pilot, The Gym Group is rolling out a programme, delivered by The Well HQ, educating its trainers on how best to support midlife women.

Launched in April last year, the Female Health First training programme equips teams at The Gym Group with specialist knowledge of female fitness. Fifty trainers have completed the programme and there are now plans to train a further 100 by the end of this year.

The sector-first programme aims to support members by raising awareness and encouraging a greater understanding of female fitness. They are working through The Well HQ’s course, The Female Body – Menopause Edition which is currently being mapped to CIMSPA’s working with girls and women standard. Then there are six webinars providing the participants with an opportunity to share their experiences.

“Currently nobody in the fitness industry learns about the menopause as part of their initial qualification, yet we know how important exercise is to midlife women to help them manage menopausal symptoms and reduce the rate of decline of their bone density and muscle mass,” says The Well HQ CEO and co-founder, Baz Moffatt. “By educating big numbers of male and female trainers to be able to serve this population better we’re increasing the likelihood of midlife women feeling like the gym floor is a place for them.”

Ruth Jackson, chief people officer at The Gym Group says the knowledge and benefits are already being shared around the company: “We are already seeing the fantastic benefits of empowering our gym teams with specialist knowledge on female fitness, and how that helps us to ensure our gym environments are even more welcoming and inspiring for all, including bespoke group exercises classes and one to one support to help women at every life stage.”

The Gym Group is the first health and fitness company to work with The Well HQ, however the company has previously worked with England Netball and CIMSPA and has today announced that it will be working with the Football Association to embed female health across all professional clubs.

“It's no longer good enough to be an expert at your job – such as coach or physio – you need to understand female physiology,” says Moffatt. “This is a key message, because right now most coaches, teachers and trainers of girls and women are qualified, insured and employed without anyone expecting them to have this knowledge. Without mandatory training very little will change.”

Alongside the education there's also going to be a Female Athlete Health Lead in each of the 24 premier clubs, who will be working with The Well HQ to design a strategy to embed female health across their club.

ACE has also called on the sector to do more to empower staff to support women at all stages, including running a summit last year about coaching and training women.

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Following a successful pilot, The Gym Group is rolling out a programme, delivered by The Well HQ, educating its trainers on how best to support midlife women.
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