When people see UFC GYM a million thoughts run through their mind – amazing fitness club may not be the first. Adam Sedlack, the SVP of UFC GYM, understands this and has found ways to overcome discrepancies.
“Every new business faces challenges, especially in competitive markets like the fitness industry,” Sedlack explained. “Our specific challenges are driven by the fact that the traditional fitness customer perceives UFC GYM as a ‘Fight Club.’ However, we are a full-service facility offering an array of programming for the entire family and every fitness level. We have close to a 50 percent male to female ratio and the average club houses 450 youth members under the age of 12.”
UFC GYM has the advantage of being aligned with one of the fastest growing sports in the world. The concept was developed by Mark Mastrov, the founder of 24 Hour Fitness, his partner Jim Rowley, brothers Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta and their partner Dana White – the Fertitta’s and White comprise the executive staff for UFC. “As UFC continued to grow, Mark and Jim saw the demand and the potential to offer the innovative training techniques of these athletes to the traditional fitness consumer. Not only does mixed martial arts have incredible physical benefits, it also adds and intense, empowering, yet fun aspect to working out.”
Sedlack has used marketing to make consumers perceive UFC GYM as a family fitness club. “Our current marketing campaign illustrates exactly what sets UFC GYM apart from any other fitness facility. We offer an alternative to the traditional workout with a multitude of ways for the entire family to sweat different, move different and burn different. We are seeing people get in the best shape of their lives while their self-confidence improves, positive mental attitude changes and overall outlook on life gets better as a result of what they are learning within our four walls.”
To focus on the family aspect of the club, Sedlack had to incorporate more youth programming and ancillary sales such as retail or merchandise. “These are areas we’ve seen the most expansion. After opening our first location we realized the demand to diversify our offerings to target not just the typical UFC fan, but women and youth as well.”
It’s easy for Sedlack to understand the importance of youth programming. “Growing up, fitness and athletics were always part of my lifestyle, and as a result, I always saw myself in some sort of competitive or health related field. While I was in college, my major was psychology and I began to appreciate how people prioritized life decisions, and the motivations that led them to that end result. For the most part, people are creatures of habit and we all have a circle of influence that develops our characteristics when it comes to integrity, honesty, nutrition and overall well-being.
“For me, fitness allows all people in all circles of life to improve and empower their lifestyle. If their brain is programmed to be negative, fitness and nutrition can cure that. If an individual is competitive and focused, fitness and nutrition will help you get better. This industry is where science meets psychology and allows anyone the opportunity to live better. My passion was introduced to a great opportunity through industry experts Mark Mastrov and Jim Rowley who molded me to look at my professional position not as a job, but as a lifestyle.”
Perceiving his role in fitness as a lifestyle pushed Sedlack to dig for new and innovative ideas. “From state-of-the-art cardio and conditioning equipment like Total Gym GTS®, Total Gym PlyoRebounder® and PlyoBalls® to youth programming to Pilates and cycling, we offer something for any fitness type.” Of course, UFC GYM also provides members with the opportunity to practice MMA programming, such as Muay Thai, kickboxing, jiu jitsu and women’s self-defense and team-oriented daily ultimate training.
People may continue to view UFC GYM as a “Fight Club” style gym, but with people like Sedlack working on branding the company as a full-service club for families, more and more people will find themselves getting in fighting shape, looking and feeling better. -CS
By Tyler Montgomery