Hogarth Goes Techno to Reclaim Number One Spot
Million pound investment in equipment in bid to be nation's best health club
Working under the reasonable assumption that if it is good enough for the athletes at London 2012 it is good enough for their members, the Hogarth Health Club have made a major investment in Technogym equipment.
They have spent over £1 million on the Italian company's ARTIS line of fitness machines. Technogym were also the suppliers of the equipment used by competitors at last year's Olympics in the athletes' village. This makes The Hogarth the first health club in the world to install a fully integrated wall-to-wall ARTIS® installation and Wellness System®.
The rationale behind the spend was made clear by The Hogarth's Managing Director Dan White in a speech made to over 400 guests at a launch party at the club last Thursday. He said that when the Hogarth Health Club first opened over thirty years ago it was the best in the UK by virtue of being the first in the UK. His mission was to make sure that the club maintained that position even decades later and the tie-up with Technogym was an important part of that strategy.
The concept behind the ARTIS system is that of Nerio Alessandri who has been described as Italy's Richard Branson. His philosophy of 'Wellness', a lifestyle based on regular physical activity, balanced diet and a positive outlook underpins the manufacture of his fitness equipment. This combines seamless Italian design, superior biomechanical engineering, interactive technology through the latest Android-based cardio platform called UNITY® and eco sustainability, allowing people to reduce, and recycle during their workout.
The Hogarth gym user using a UNITY console will now log on with a personal key (which can be an Android phone or an iPhone) to be presented with a screen pre-configured to their personal requirements (see below). Combining the use of apps and a cloud-based system it is now possible for all exercise activity, in and out of the Hogarth, to be logged and monitored from the screen with personal targets incorporated.
The UNITY console also allows individuals to send emails, watch and catch up on TV including Sky Sports channels, read books and the latest news from any cardio machine whilst mapping fitness details and storing all of them in a personal "Wellness Cloud". Technogym’s UNITY system is even fitted with a web cam allowing users to make video calls with their trainer and Skype their favourite contacts during their workouts. For less hard core gym users you can play Angry Birds or log onto Facebook whilst you work out.
The response from members so far appears to be very favourable. Matt Dawson MBE & Hogarth member says,“Although my days as an international rugby player may be a few years behind me, I really can appreciate good gym equipment. Without question, The Artis equipment just installed into The Hogarth Club in Chiswick, is both slick by design and in its biomechanical engineering. I am also impressed with the numerous technological elements of the equipment. With a busy life it’s useful to be able to tweet whilst on the bike, catch up on TV and, who knows, maybe I’ll find myself Skyping 'Tuffers and Sue' whilst I’m training?”
Ian Chaffey, Hogarth Operations Director adds,“The technology behind the Artis gymnasium equipment allows Trainers and members to track and monitor what they do in the Club, at home or anywhere in the world. It is this additional capability that enables us to stay connected beyond the Club and help us support the busy and stressful lifestyles our members often lead. Ultimately, we feel we have the best tools to help our members achieve their exercise and Wellness goals.”
As a local family owned club competing in a market dominated by large chain gyms the Hogarth doesn't want to lose the hearty homely feel that it is renowned for. They clearly feel that the philosophy of Technogym is close enough to their own to warrant the huge investment they are making in the upgrade. Whether it will make the club the nation's best remains to be seen but it is hard to believe that the big players in this industry will put as much knowledge, care and attention into choosing equipment for their members as the Hogarth has done.
May 4, 2013