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The fitness industry is developing by leaps and bounds in Russia and, of course, abroad. Today it is fashionable not only to be healthy, pumped up and fit, but also to have in your arsenal a couple of triathlon starts or an unusual hobby like aero yoga.
On the eve of the largest fitness festival in Russia, Russian Fitness Fair 2018, we met with the general director of the Crocus Fitness fitness club chain, deputy chairman of the organizing committee of the festival Vlad Petrov to discuss current sports trends, healthy lifestyle trends and development points for the clubs' work.
- How did your path in the fitness industry begin?
- It was a long time ago. I have been dancing professionally since I was six. In dancing, he has achieved some success internationally. After that he worked in well-known groups. When fitness came to Russia, the trainers were recruited to the clubs only with high sporting achievements, like in my dance. So I started working in the first fitness club in Russia. He worked for about 20 years and went there on the career ladder almost to the very top. At the same time, of course, I always wanted something of my own to appear, and this led to the emergence of Crocus Fitness.
- What drives the fitness industry?
- Now it is fashionable to be healthy, beautiful, fit. In America, this trend has existed for a long time, while in Russia the healthy lifestyle industry is still at the beginning of its development. Previously, it was customary to drink and smoke, but now it has become sharply fashionable to lead an active and healthy lifestyle, overcome marathons, participate in races and engage in various sports and fitness, and this is very good. Following fashion is not always advisable, but in this case this trend is important for the health of our citizens, and accordingly it contributes to the rapid development of the fitness industry in Russia.
Photo: Valeria Shugurina, Championship
- Do you think fitness has become more accessible?
- Of course. After all, in fact, what is fitness? This is physical education. When the fitness industry was born, we read a lot of textbooks, looked for the so-called forbidden exercises that are not so easy to perform, piece by piece found information.
After CrossFit appeared, everyone realized that logs are also possible carry, and run along the street to keep fit. Everything is gradually returning to normal. The wall bars and the goats we used at school are now insanely popular - this is fitness.
You can just put on sneakers and run to the park, take a bike and go for a walk, and this is also a workout.
- Crocus Fitness Kuntsevo has a professional gym for gymnastics. What is the reason?
- We are focused on developing the sport. Our logo even says: sport and spa. We write sports because we want to promote triathlon, gymnastics, swimming, martial arts and other areas, not just conductclasses in children's sections so that the child develops, and to raise real athletes with great potential. Of the fitness clubs in Russia, we are probably the first to focus on this. We hope that our children will become Olympic champions in the future, and we will try to create all the conditions for this.
- Is professional sports schools for children based on fitness a western trend?
- I went to many foreign fitness clubs, looked, borrowed something, before working out the concept of our club. It was the gymnasts that I saw in Hong Kong, I really liked that real gymnasts there trained on professional gymnastic equipment in the crossfit zone of the fitness club. We went further and made a separate gym specifically for our clients.
- You also have a circus studio. Tell us more about it.
- Yes, this is also one of the most interesting borrowings. In Las Vegas, my Russian friends work for Cirque du Soleil. In addition, they opened small aerial gymnastics studios for beginners and amateurs. It was from them that we ordered all the exclusive equipment, according to their sketches, we made a hall. By the way, the girl who now teaches in our circus studio used to work at Cirque du Soleil.
Photo: Valeria Shugurina, Championship
Is the format of small studios also being tried in Crocus? How interesting is this direction to you?
- Small studios are actively developing in America now. If you walk around Santa Monica, you will see a small studio in every large house, and in some even two. For example, a yoga studio, crossfit, cycle room. If we talk about the situation in Moscow, then I know only three studios that work successfully. Many opened but closed over time. Most likely, this is due to the fact that with a high rental rate and other significant costs, studios do not have a club membership, while the cost of classes is relatively low. In addition, location is of great importance, and the city center is best suited, otherwise, compared to big clubs, studios do not survive. This, of course, is insulting. It seems to me that the future belongs to them, especially in small towns. We can say these are hobby groups for adults.
- In addition to triathlon, what is currently at the peak of popularity?
- Interval training, bodyweight work - very popular destinations. Why? Fitness appeared in California, where the weather is good all year round, and therefore the trends come from there. Functional air training is the most popular thing now.
- What is a coach for? Is it necessary?
- I will compare it with cooking at home and visiting a restaurant ... Of course, you can cook it yourself, but if you want dishes from a professional chef with extensive experience, then you go to a specific restaurant with good service and quality of food. In every case there is a nProfessionals, fitness works the same way. You need to try to achieve your goal with a trainer, and then you will understand that what you did at home has nothing to do with the training approach of a professional expert. And another important point is the exercise technique. Very often, situations arise when, after independent training, especially beginners in fitness, receive significant injuries and then recover for a long time.
- How do you work with ambassadors? How effective is such an advertising strategy?
- I am asked: how much did you pay this one? We do not pay anyone anything, only those who actually visit us are filmed in the Crocus Fitness advertising campaign. We even have a slogan teammates.
In this advertising campaign, both sports and pop superstars, for example, tennis player Ekaterina Makarova, football player Alexander Samedov, and our coaches and club members who actively train with us, starred. We try to use for promotion only those who are with us in the team and are set up for sports and popularization of a healthy lifestyle.
Photo: Valeria Shugurina, Championship
- Tell us about the fitness festival, which will be held at the end of August.
- Russian Fitness Fair is a large-scale fitness fair, where there will be a lot of interesting and useful things for both fitness professionals and lovers of an active lifestyle. World presenters will come, including for the first time in Russia only the legendary fitness trainer N1 - Todd Durkin will perform here, and anyone can attend his master classes. For all Les Mills fans, of whom there are a huge number of all over the world, there will be a grand Les Mills Day dedicated to the 50th anniversary of this famous company. Only one day, 12 master classes from the leading Les Mills trainers. There will be a lot of drive, the best music and, as always, amazing energy.
Of course, for the business audience we have prepared a lot of interesting things. The exhibition will feature simulators and modern equipment, the latest trends and novelties of the industry.
If you are a fitness professional , you can order equipment for your club, and if you just come to exhibition, you can try these simulators, look at new equipment, try protein ice cream, bars. One day, on Friday, August 24, we will have a business conference where business leaders from various industries will speak and share their experiences.
The highlight will be the international start of the triathlon together with IronStar. For the first time in Russia, the start will be carried out from a ship, as on the Bosphorus, and the swimming stage will be held in open water.
It should be separately noted that we will host gymnastics competitions. Together with the renowned athlete Emin Garibov, we will hold competitions for children and adults. Including inOlympic champion Alexey Nemov will take part in the selection of contestants.
Come and see the coolest athletes and coaches at our festival!