CHICAGO — Two of the biggest names in the industry, Jack LaLanne and Mark Mastrov, highlighted Club Industry 2009 last month in Chicago.
LaLanne, who turned 95 in September, addressed a packed room during the first of two keynote addresses at the show. LaLanne was joined by his wife of 50 years, Elaine LaLanne, who introduced her husband with a video montage of his career highlights, including clips from “The Jack LaLanne Show.”
LaLanne entertained the audience with several stories, including one involving a young Austrian bodybuilder named Arnold Schwarzenegger. After LaLanne challenged Schwarzenegger to a fitness showdown and then beat him, the future California governor said, “That Jack LaLanne's an animal!”
LaLanne delivered his famous phrases, such as, “If man made it, don't eat it!” and “If it tastes good, spit it out!” LaLanne also didn't mince words about the status of Americans' health today.
“All these people are out of shape, and there's no reason for it,” said LaLanne, who encouraged the room full of fitness professionals to make a difference in people's lives, just as he has for 80 years. After the address, LaLanne signed autographs and posed for photos for more than an hour.
Mastrov, the founder of 24 Hour Fitness who now leads his new company, New Evolution Fitness Co., delivered the show's second keynote address. Mastrov discussed the basic principles of club development and stressed that with the recession nearing its end, this may be the best time to open or acquire clubs.
“The next five years is the best run we're ever going to have,” Mastrov told a packed room. “The markets are coming back. You can feel it.”
Mastrov also said club operators can improve their club's performance in many areas, including personal training and nutrition. “The difference between success and failure is one more (membership) unit a day,” he said.
Prior to Mastrov's address, Club Industry presented its Best of the Best awards to six fitness facility operators in the categories of best behavior modification program, best children's program, best community-based program, best group training, best new member integration program and best nonmember program.
The Club Industry East show is scheduled for May 5-7, 2010, at The Javits Center in New York.