Apple Athletic Club Interview with Robby Denning
This interview is with Robby Denning, Personal Training and STOTT Pilates Director at Apple Athletic Club (AAC) in Idaho Falls, Idaho. He describes AAC as a “health ‘club’ which is so much more than a gym.” In Robby’s opinion, the word “club” denotes camaraderie and belonging. He believes those feelings occur when your membership base is made up of people from infants to 90+ year olds, you’ve been in business for 30 years in the same small town, and you have great seasoned employees who really care about your members and their lives. Luckily, AAC meets all of these criteria.
Robby believes that their gym stands out from other gyms due to their facility and their atmosphere. They have an outdoor pool and splash pad, executive locker rooms, a private “lady only” workout area, a full court basketball court, a preschool, ultra clean facility, and an indoor pool area plus all of the accompanying programming allowed by these amenities. But all of those things can be copied. However, what really separates their club from the non-clubs is their staff. Their professionalism and their “customer first attitude” cannot be copied. In addition, they have bought into the ownership’s vision of trying to achieve a level of excellence in each of their departments. If shortcomings are spotted, they feel personally responsible and take action.
As far as the biggest mistakes he sees people make when they are exercising is that they do not eat to match their exercise. They think they can out-exercise a poor diet, but that is impossible. Eating better makes exercise more effective.
He believes that the biggest mistake he sees other gyms make is that they do not train their trainers. They just hire them and put them on the floor and expect them to churn the numbers. As a result, they end up with a high turnover of trainers and no relationships are built with the members.
AAC’s current location is their fourth in 30 years. They started in a 3,000 square foot downtown office building as a “white-collar sweat shop.” There were two other competitors in a 45,000 population base. Currently, counting their auxiliary tennis facility, we have grown to a 100,000 square foot under their roof in a population of 70,000 and with 12 competitors.
Eating better makes exercise more effective.
They offer over 400 group fitness classes a month including the following: aquatic fitness, swimming and swimming lessons, boot camps, running, martial arts, Silver Sneakers programs for seniors, Yoga, Zumba, Pilates, boxing, Kettleball. Additionally, they offer weight loss training and meal preparation classes. They also have sports leagues such as basketball, volleyball, pickleball, racquetball and tennis.
Apple’s trainers fall into six levels depending on their experience, education and performance criteria. These career-oriented trainers have put forth the effort, time and commitment that is necessary to be a world-class personal trainer. All of their personal trainers hold either a four year exercise related degree and/or one of four nationally-recognized personal trainer certifications: the NSCA (The National Strength and Conditioning Association), ACSM (The American College of Sports Medicine), ACE (The American Council on Exercise) or the NASM (The National Academy of Sports Medicine). Additionally, based on its many years of experience, Apple has developed its own Master Training Regimen that each personal trainer must pass.
Apple is not only interested in fitness. They are also involved in the improvement of their community. Each year they donate to, participate in, and host many events that contribute to the quality of life in their local community. They hold fundraisers every year in support of organizations like Help Inc. Child Abuse Prevention Center, the American Red Cross, The Giving Tree with St. Vincent DePaul, Big Brothers and Big Sisters. They also coordinate blood drives and a pet food drive for Snake River Animal Shelter. These are only a small part of what they do for their community.
If you would like more information about Apple Athletic Club you can check them out on their web site at www.appleathleticclub.com or call them at (208) 529-8600. If you are interested in their tennis facility, you can call them at (208) 529-0300. You can also “Like” them on Facebook, review them on Yelp, follow them on Twitter, follow them on Instagram, connect with them on LinkedIn and subscribe to their You Tube Channel.
Anyone who has worked out or participated in programs at Apple Athletic Club, is invited to comment on our blog.