27 episodes

Richard Toutounji is talking to masters of business who have prospered by adapting to change in their industry.

Industry Change Richard Toutounji

    • Business

Richard Toutounji is talking to masters of business who have prospered by adapting to change in their industry.

    Why Pilates Is The Next Big Thing In The Fitness Industry | Industry Change Ep 27

    Why Pilates Is The Next Big Thing In The Fitness Industry | Industry Change Ep 27

    On this episode of Industry Change, we sit down with Sharon Simmons from the Pilates Association of Australia. Pilates has come a long way from obscurity and burst onto the mainstream fitness scene in the last few years and the PAA does a great job in setting the standards for the industry as well as supporting Pilates Studios and Instructors.

    The biggest prediction that Sharan has for the rest of 2020 is that there will be even more diversity within the Pilates space. More and more consumers are choosing Pilates classes and the studio’s as part of a real move towards health and wellness and using movement as medicine. The challenge for the industry will be keeping the quality as the industry continues to grow.

    • 20 min
    From Wolf of Wall Street to Meditation Teacher | Industry Change Ep 26

    From Wolf of Wall Street to Meditation Teacher | Industry Change Ep 26

    In this episode of Industry Change, I speak with long-time friend and meditation teacher, Tom Cronin. Tom traded his life as a finance broker to become a meditation teacher and has an incredible story. Interestingly he’s the first person who actually got me to sit in stillness for 20 minutes and I’ve now incorporated meditation into my daily life.

    • 24 min
    How to predict the winning horse with Justin McDonnel | Industry Change Ep 25

    How to predict the winning horse with Justin McDonnel | Industry Change Ep 25

    In this episode of Industry Change, I chat with Justin McDonnel, Co-Founder & Chair of Collective Wellness Group which includes Anytime Fitness, Orange Theory and Xtend Barre.

    Where does Justin see the fitness industry heading?

    As surprising as it is, the 24/7 model is still growing and there is still a significant amount of people still signing up to gyms every year. But people are looking for relationships rather than just a membership. Larger gyms and 24/7’s can achieve this even on a larger scale, but have to focus on the manager and coaches building relationships with members.

    And there is a definite opportunity for the studio model and boutique fitness model to grow and expand, especially considering it is much easier for boutiques to build that relational style of training.

    • 25 min
    How the fitness industry is turning into a wellness industry with Andy Peat | Industry change Episode 24

    How the fitness industry is turning into a wellness industry with Andy Peat | Industry change Episode 24

    Want to know the importance of technology and mental health in the fitness industry? In this episode Richard chats with the Chief Operating Officer of LIFT Brands Andy Peat. Andy was 17 when he started out in the industry, conveniently not having to tell anyone his age… he was a personal trainer, worked on cruise liners and then became a SNAP fitness franchisee and from this he became the CEO of SNAP fitness Australia at the age of 25. Now he is the COO of LIFT Brands and the creator of technology fitness and nutrition app ‘Nomergy’. Take a read or watch the full interview…

    What are the fundamentals of growing in the fitness industry? 

    Andy’s quick progression in the industry was a credit to timing, luck and proven skills. He also emphasises the importance of putting yourself out there and know what people want to hear, from this he got the opportunity to learn and prove himself once he was in the role as CEO. 

    When Andy started as CEO he has no right to the job, he didn’t have a degree or much experience but he was great at selling franchises and selling gym memberships, but obviously running a $100 million business was next level! So he talked to the right people, educated himself and delivered results!


    How do you deliver the results when you are still learning? 

    Observe and learn – During the first three months as CEO Andy he took a back seat and observed what the operators did, he learnt the goods and the bads within the industry from this. 
    Back yourself – Andy had to back his own ideas and add his own flavour to the business. Andy believes “It’s one thing to back yourself but actually going in and doing it is another.” A big thing that distinguished him was that he followed through with his ideas. 
    Work WITH people – Andy always enjoyed working with people and building relationships. He has a lot of empathy because he was a previous SNAP franchisee so the SNAP franchisees were able to relate to him and be on the same page because of his experience. 
    Educate yourself – Outside of work during the early stages of Andy being CEO, he was in a relentless study mindset. He studied business, he became a student of business, fitness and of the industry. He learnt from people 100 years ago and explored the tycoons of the industry today. He read and listened to everything he could in his free time. At the time he wasn’t sure it was working but over time he realised he was using things he learnt. 


    Did the need to educate yourself come because you had the job or did it come because you wanted to know it in the future? 

    It was a bit of both for Andy, but there was an urgent need to educate himself because he had the job. He didn’t tell anyone his age so people assumed he was older. The motivation came to learn ‘adult talk’ early so he could stand at the same level with the franchisees and give himself enough time to deliver results. 

    He knew he could get the results but he wanted to buy some time to be able to develop a stronger understanding and back himself on different things in the industry. The true test was dealing with adversity, since he was still young he could get stuck into fixing problems rather than delegating others to do them.  


    Looking into the future, saw the problems with sales, mental health and has created an app. 

    At the time Andy was CEO of SNAP fitness in Austr

    • 20 min
    How to Make the Right Moves in the Fitness Industry with Ty Menzies | Industry change Episode 23

    How to Make the Right Moves in the Fitness Industry with Ty Menzies | Industry change Episode 23

    In this week’s episode of Industry Change I chat with Ty Menzies the CEO of LIFT Brands. Ty has had over 15 years of experience in this industry with a background of owning independent clubs, franchises and is now the CEO of LIFT Brands with over 300 locations across the Asia-pacific. Recently Ty was elected as a a Board Member of Fitness Australia and the Exercise Association of New Zealand. We discuss how to succeed in the industry and take advantage of the right opportunities at the right time and more. 

    Ty’s journey in the fitness industry 

    Ty’s journey has not been an overnight success story. He started as a personal trainer and really enjoyed it, but always knew he wanted to be a business owner and wanted to step into a sales and club management role. He had great mentors and took good advice from the right people that guided him into the sales and club management space. 

    The first club he managed was a very large gym in London which was a great experience, he was hired by the owner of The Gym Group (UK), John Treharne who has taken that business from nothing to now 60 locations! Ty was lucky by being involved with the right people, actively putting himself out there in the industry. 

    He came back from the UK and wanted to start his own business. He came across a franchise, EFM Health Clubs which is still around today and he bought his first EFM at the age of 21 and then went on to own 3 EFM locations in Melbourne. Whilst he had these 3 he then bought a mid-size independent club. This was an opportunity that he came across and it was in a dire position but he turned it around and made it successful, so at the time he owned 4 gym venues! He then sold them to move onto his next venture. 

    Snap fitness approached him to help drive the franchise development part of the business. He spent months developing franchises and sold 35 franchises and was in a good position to be the CEO which has only progressed from there.


    What is LIFT Brands?

    Ty is the CEO of LIFT Brands which is a collection of fitness-minded businesses that share a goal to help people get healthy in a positive community. They own snap fitness 24/7 which covers all hours convenience, 9Round which is more boutique and fitness on demand which is virtual. All these brands cover key fitness environments for all demographics. They have a very strong presence in New Zealand and Australia and are expanding across the Asia-pacific region. 


    When is the right time to make the right move? The importance of opportunities and timing…

    Peter Taunton the founder of LIFT Brands says that, “If you haven’t failed in business you haven’t had a go!” Ty has had his fair share of failures but strongly believes that if you aren’t having a go you aren’t experiencing the industry and growing beneficially. Ty stresses that it is important to know that if you fail, fail fast and step out quickly. Some people try and hold on too long, but realising the problem,  losing a small amount of money, stepping out of the situation and learning from it is how you can be proactive in the industry. 

    A lot of fitness professionals can over analyse things and opportunities come and go all the time, it’s a matter of whether you will take the chance and run with it. Ty’s father used to say, “Take a huge bite and go at it hard!” That’s something you have to do with business. You can’t expect to go into something and just have it all done with no effort, you need to put in the work!


    Where do you see the future of the 24/7 gyms? 


    • 25 min
    How You Can Help Set Standards in the Fitness Industry with CEO, Richard Beddie | Industry Change Episode 22

    How You Can Help Set Standards in the Fitness Industry with CEO, Richard Beddie | Industry Change Episode 22

    In today’s Industry Change episode I chat with Richard Beddie CEO of Exercise New Zealand about the journey. Richard has been in the industry for over 20 years, initially, he was a gym owner and eager to learn more he went to a fitness industry conference. He did this because he figured that people who knew more than him about the industry would be talking and giving worthy advice, so he went along and found the AGM for Fitness New Zealand.

    How did you start this journey of running an organization and going global?

    When Richard owned a gym the first thing he did was go to a conference because he figured people who knew more than him would be talking and giving advice so he went along and found the AGM for fitness NZ. He asked a lot of questions and the next thing he knew he was on the committee and became the chairman. At the time he thought it was a great way to give his input and make an impact on the industry. He realized that his passion changed from owning his gym and getting leads to being about dealing with childcare because a the time it was a big industry issue with gyms regulation. He wasn’t being paid for this, it was all volunteer work. 
    What is Exercise NZ? 

    Exercise NZ is an association that is about making a difference and supporting exercise professionals and facilities within the fitness industry. They are quite unique as an organization because they facilitate things like events and resources. It is the providers like personal trainers, gym owners, etc. that make the difference, and this is what Exercise NZ wants to support. They want to support the providers.

    Exercise NZ has the highest uptake of members in the association because they believe it’s all about asking: what do the providers of exercise want? It is about the long game with solving the physical inactivity that NZ has but it is about the short game with providers and supporting their problems.
    It is a Not for profit body and membership association. The members are providers of exercise, whether that be gym owners, personal trainers or fitness instructors, it is for anyone who works in the fitness industry. By being a member they get support, advice, advocacy from Exercise NZ and they get to go to events at a discounted rate. They are not about the commercial end even though many of their members are.
    The individual personal trainer, yoga instructor or fitness studio owner can do what they do with the backing of an industry association like Exercise NZ behind them. It is basically an insurance policy to help your fitness business run successfully. They can help you with the stuff you may not know, like the new laws, regulations, and governance that is important to comply with but many people won’t know or don’t have the time to focus on.

    How did you take this concept of fitness industry standards globally? 

    In 2001 Richard wanted to help develop standards for exercise professionals which are now the register for fitness professionals. New Zealand was the 3rd country in the world to have these standards.
    Some people are anti-standards but there is nothing to be scared about because professionals can always vote to change the standards that are in place.
    Richard once had a meeting in Lebanon and it was the first time industry competitors were in the same room. It is a very small country geographically but there are lots of gyms and personal trainers, however, there isn’t a lot with qualifications. This is an example of emerging standards as there are emerging training providers. It can be frustrating for those who are qualified if there are no standards because the qualification essentially has no value. Hence Richard gave them a chance to join an international grouping that has standards.
    Now there is the global association that means your qual

    • 22 min

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