City Slickers Part One
Located at the heart of the City of London, City Athletic is a high end sports and performance gym that can boast state of the art equipment combined with a group of trainers that have every base covered.
Spread over 11,000 sq ft, the facility opened in December of last year and features Europe’s largest commercial altitude chamber, sitting alongside a biomechanical running school and an injury clinic.
In the first of a two part feature, we took a moment to catch up with Shaun Stafford, Director of City Athletic and WBFF World Fitness Champion, to get his thoughts on the club, the industry as a whole and how he goes about staying in shape!
How many members are currently on the City Athletic books?
We have a tightly capped membership of 400 which allows us to really focus on delivering the best service that we can for our members. We don’t want there to be queues for equipment or showers or for people not to have the space to workout properly. By maintaining this cap it means that we can deliver on our promises of providing a very different training experience.
Having only opened in December, what is proving to be your biggest day-to-day challenge?
Business awareness, getting our brand out there and letting people know we are here has been tough so far.
Differentiating your club from the competition is always a tough challenge, but very important, how do you go about it?
It is massively important. There are so many companies fighting for the middle ground in the industry so it’s hard to go and try and put yourself above the competition. Our mission statement was to provide the facility and expertise that a professional athlete would have, and then be able to deliver that to everybody that wants to give it try. This is shown through our capped membership, through the selection of equipment and, more importantly, through our coaches. We have seven national, European or world champions over seven different sports, so we pretty much have somebody available who could help you with your training, regardless of your goal.
What do you think is the biggest challenge facing the fitness industry?
Probably integrity of product. You get a lot of people making claims, without a lot to back it up. People branding themselves experts, without either having the experience or the qualifications to back it up. We have been fairly bullish with what we want to achieve and the standards we want to set and so far we’ve had professional sports teams from football, cycling, cricket and athletics all come down and use the facilities. It is not only a good endorsement of what we are doing but it is also a really nice feature for a lot of our members. I will never forget how giddy one of my clients was after walking out of the changing room as Dimitar Berbatov was walking in! To actually see these guys work really motivates and encourages our members.
In part two we’ll discuss free weights, personal trainers and Shaun’s very own fitness regime!
In the meantime, make sure you check out their website to find out more:www.cityathletic.co.uk