Fitness + Technology

Welcome to the Fitness + Technology Podcast for club owners, operators, and fitness professionals! This show is your #1 trusted resource for the accelerating world of fitness technology. We regularly bring you an expert interview with a global influencer at the crossroads of fitness and technology. You’ll get the insights, tools, and inspiration you need to stay connected to the pulse of what matters most for your fitness business in the age of exponential technologies. This podcast is brought to you by the Fitness Industry Technology Council, who is mobilizing resources to drive the fitness industry forward, and representing leading companies and organizations to success through collaboration. This show is supported by Bryan O'Rourke and his family of companies including Vedere Ventures, a boutique investment and advisory firm helping early mature and late stage enterprises, moon mission media a digital marketing firm dedicated to the fitness space, and Integerus Advisors. To learn more visit
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Fitness + Technology



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Apr 18, 2017

Across our industry space, we're well aware that new technologies including wearables, SaaS platforms, and connected fitness devices found across the world are collecting billions of data points. But the real question that is top of mind for operators, owners, and the industry as a whole, is what we do with all this data?

Specifically, how do we plug-in actionable coaching, marketing, and touch points to millions of health club members across the globe that will actually elicit sustainable behavior change?

This is one of my favorite episodes we've had on the podcast, and I know you're going to love the insight and expertise of today's guest Jan Middelkamp from Europe Active. If you've been curious or hungry for the information that's going to impact your fitness business from a virtual or face-to-face coaching standpoint, this is going to be a powerful episode for you because were diving into the topics and coaching models that will impact both your ROI and club operations.

Jan Middelkamp is Development Director at HDD Group and the CEO of BlackBoxPublishers. With over 35 years of high level experience in the fitness industry, Jan is now working on a PhD in exercise behavior of members in fitness clubs at the Behavioral Science Institute of the Radboud University in the Netherlands.

He also is a board member of EuropeActive in Brussels and the author of over 10 books, including The state of research in the global fitness industry (2012); Member retention in fitness clubs (2013); EuropeActive retention reports (2013, 2014, and 2015); Essentials of motivation and behavior change (2015).

Listen To Episode 023 As Jan Uncovers

  • Understanding "The Essentials of Motivation and Behavior Change" which Bryan O'Rourke was a key contributor to and why Jan spearhead this book to impact behavior change integrations in our space
  • Understanding how behavior change can positively impact attrition rates in health clubs and boutiques
  • Why Jan believes we are just in the "beginning stages" of how behavior change will apply to our fitness industry
  • The landscape and the integration of behavior change models in the fitness industry in regards to clubs
  • Understanding the transtheoretical behavior change model in fitness
  • Uncovering the commonalities and pitfalls to why behavior change models do not come to completion for well-intentioned members in health clubs
  • Why behavior change does not occur in a single stage; the 5 key stages within a successful program
  • Why we need a "cocktail" of behavior change factors to really help people in a sustainable way
  • Unpacking Jan's vantage point on the 3 types of behavior change in regards to habits:
  • Big habit: Working with a trainer 2-3 times per week 
  • Medium habit: Easy to implement, walking at lunch, take the stairs, ect.
  • Light habit: Tiny habits, 10 squats, take the stairs, stand up every 30 minutes 
  • Reductionism thinking and how it does not apply to the current member in our modern industrialized society
  • How to make the health club technology a key ecosystem for the club member's fitness journey 
  • Why Jan believes that smart technology can be a window into the "missing piece" that will give our industry the insights and behaviors that are most pivotal for clients
  • What are the major disruptions when we look at the crossroads of technology and behavior change

Top 3 Takeaways From The Show

  • Jan believes that as we move forward, the health club must be the "fitness technology hub" that pulls all the lifestyle information of the member together in one place. If you look at your member only through the attendance behavior lens, you may have some information but you're missing a lot of other important items you'll need if your clients will have long-term and sustainable results.  
  • For lifelong behavior change, you have to oversee the consumer's habits in total and that's where technology is important. If technology will be used to pull the right information together, we have to include customized solutions to see what members do in other settings outside the club. In the coaching base from the fitness center via personal trainers, we must make the right informational choices based on the data at hand.
  • The current reality is that the researched and validated behavior change models are currently disconnected from the majority of health clubs in the industry. In other words, the application of identifying the specific needs, motives, and goals of the client simply aren't always there. Jan believes if we truly want to motivate someone, we have to understand their intrinsic and extrinsic motivation factors and plug those into their journey. With the demands of our current society and deleterious health factors on the rise, sustainable behavior change models are the "secret sauce" that owners and operators must pay attention to when we look at this crossroad of technology and fitness.

Power Quotes From Jan

"Technology is great for measuring the base situation and in measuring a client's current status. However, I see a huge advantage of measuring something that is out of your sight as a coach. If you're a trainer working with the client a couple times a week and you also want to positively impact their other lifestyle factors, there are now many wearable technologies to monitor them which I strongly believe in."  - Jan Middelkamp on the Fitness + Technology Podcast

"People are not only going to a gym, so if you are a health club owner or operator, we believe at Europe Active that the health club should be the hub of fitness technology. From there, you can coach people in different settings which becomes pivotal. If you only want to pull members into the club you are missing a big part of the health and fitness picture." - Jan Middelkamp on the Fitness + Technology Podcast

Resources Mentioned From Jan

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Thanks To Our Outstanding Sponsors

  • Bryan O’Rourke and his family of companies including Vedere VenturesIntegerus Advisors, and many more. If you are looking for unmatched guidance, capital, insights or a great speaker or facilitator, Bryan and his partners are the go to resource for your organization. To learn more visit

  • The Fitness Industry Technology Council, your non-profit resource for reliable technology information supported by forward looking brands who are seeking to drive increased technology adoption in the fitness industry. Make a difference and join FIT-C at today

  • Check out Bryan and his partner Robert Dyer's recent book "9 Partnership Principles: A Story of Life Lessons" which is available now on