Trusting the best: an award-winning club

Take a glimpse at the article from the latest Fitpro magazine

Fitpro profiles Burnley Leisure Trust, which has been shortlisted for two National Fitness Awards, and asks what makes an award-winning club?

“We teach 90 classes a week and we never, ever fail to deliver,” says health and fitness manager of Burnley Leisure Trust Elaine Adams-Gilligan. “We have 15 instructors, most of whom teach most classes, and they can all teach at the same level. There is always someone to cover and we have never cancelled a class.”

It’s an impressive achievement and one that has contributed to Burnley Leisure being nominated for two National Fitness Awards (NFAs): UK Group Exercise Facility of the Year and Leisure Trust Gym of the Year. Having already won an NFA two years on the trot – last year securing the title of Gym Team of the Year – Burnley Leisure is no stranger to accolades.

“To be shortlisted for Group Exercise Facility of the Year for 2015 is fantastic. We’re a very small borough and for a borough in the North West to pick up something of that nature is massive,” enthuses Adams-Gilligan.

“It gives us recognition that we are doing something right.  Our members know our team is held up as a good team.”

Burnley Leisure had offered members other pre-choreographed classes for 10 years, before switching to the pre-choreographed workouts of MOSSA in 2013.

The trust has found that MOSSA has taken its clubs in a different direction; one particular advantage has been the dramatic increase in male participation since introducing MOSSA Group Power, Group Fight and Group Centergy.

Adams-Gilligan explains, “We went with MOSSA nearly three years ago. I was blown away by the quality of the product.

“It’s very user-friendly. Since MOSSA, our male participation has increased drastically. I think it’s because the choreography is easier to adopt. The workouts are physically hard but the routines are quite easy to learn.  The customers pick it up quickly.”

Integral to the success of MOSSA at Burnley Leisure, according to Adams-Gilligan, is the continuous variety in the workouts, which keeps the members – and the instructors – interested and excited.

She adds, “The last three years we haven’t known what was going to come next  with MOSSA – we’ve had  reps, sets,  bodyweight, plyometrics, pyramid … it follows the current trends. For example, there is twisting work in the new release. That’s never been done before. In fact, there’s a first in every single new release.”

She continues, “The releases are also periodised. That is completely new in pre-choreography. It makes a massive difference as our members can see they are getting physically fitter and stronger with each release.”

Alongside its group X success, Adams- Gilligan is proud of the club’s friendly reputation and the fact that the gym team and group X team cross over; the group X team must be gym qualified and the gym team staff all teach group X classes that play to their strengths.

“Traditionally,” she explains, “group X and the gym are fighting each other for customers. We don’t have that problem because we cross them over. At gym inductions, every member is recommended classes that will work for them and there is no competition between our instructors.”

Adams-Gilligan believes freestyle instructors can learn to transition better with pre-choreographed workouts. She says, “These days, there are aerobics instructors who aren’t working to the beat and phrasing – education isn’t what it should be and a lot don’t transition well from one move to another. With pre-choreo, they can improve their transition steps and breaks. And, with something like Group Power, group X instructors can learn how to train in a gym.”

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