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RED - Gym Made Easy

27 September 2014: Virgin Active opens the doors of gym for members who want to streamline their workout

27 September 2014
By: Virgin Active
In: Latest News

Virgin Active South Africa introduces RED to Boksburg – a new kind of gym for East Randers

Designed for first timers, seasoned timers and the short of timers

On the 27 September, Boksburg RED in the East Rand Retail Park opened the doors of this 2151m² gym for the smart and tech savvy who are time strapped and want to streamline their workout.  Richard Lamb-Hughes, Brand Director of Virgin Active says, ‘We believe our members at this new concept gym will love the fact that 75% of the floor space is designed for exercise.’

It might be new but it’s still very much Virgin Active… so expect the unexpected.

Why the new concept?  In marketing terms it’s about developing and launching an innovative product that makes activeness more accessible while enhancing existing offerings. 

But RED speak is snappier. And so is the concept: Accessible Activeness, Brilliantly Basic, Energetic and Entertaining. ‘In a nutshell it is all delightfully simple,’ says Lamb-Hughes.   ‘Students are a prime example. Even though they want to look and feel good, most are on a tight budget. But now RED is affordable and with ‘the Grid’  floor workout it means you can be in and out before, between or after lectures.’

Apart from introducing the Grid, RED has innovative ways of streamlining the gym experience and helping members who may find the equipment slightly intimidating. The layout focuses on easy navigation, with simple decoded language and a touch of cheeky fun. 

Other initiatives to keep it simple include: 

  • Fingerprint access
  • Kiosks to speed up the sign up process
  • An induction, or 'Hello' wall
  • A ‘use by numbers’ system to guide your training
  • Pick off the shelf workout plans
  • Functional zones that are easily identified
  • Interactive and touch screens to show you how to train and get the maximum benefit from the equipment
  • Virtual classes 
  • Drop and go lockers
  • State-of-the-art training equipment
  • Training ‘by numbers’ and easy navigation such as run, step, ride
  • Stretch and Abs workouts on TV 

The DIY concept doesn’t mean that RED is peopleless.  Far from it, all the high tech, self-help gadgets are offset by fitness managers and personal trainers of a new ilk.  Need any assistance? Just look for number 10, it’s the number the staff wear proudly on their T-shirts. The staff or daymakers are expressly there to help members.  To make them even more accessible to members, buzz buttons are located at strategic places throughout the gym. 
The Grid

The Grid is designed to get people moving better, faster and more effectively using six basic movements we use in our daily life: push, pull, squat, bend, twist and lunge.

According to Ceri Hannan, the National Product Development Manager at Virgin Active South Africa it is ‘an innovative, intuitive floor design exercise programme that facilitates a fun, fresh and stimulating workout. Think of the floor as an iPad and that you can select one of four apps: Active, Lean, Strong, Fit.

It is suitable for everyone, whether you are an avid sports person or just wanting to get fit and move better. It can be done as part of a class or an individual exercise.  ‘Movement is our passion,’ says Hannan.

How it works:  

  • The floor is marked out in a grid format with squares of approximately 2m2 by 2m2. You begin in one grid and move as the series of exercises unfold and depending on type of ‘app’ you have chosen.  The exercises focus on movement, weight, fitness and strength
  • A backing track, together with a coach or on its own, will guide you through the exercise programmes as you move from one grid to another after each set is completed
  • The tempo and interval varies according to the ‘app’’ selected but still allows a member to go at their own pace 
  • For the time strapped, the class has high impact but can be time efficient, taking as little as 12 minutes up to a maximum of 30. 

RED is gym made easy.

Lamb-Hughes says, ‘There will always be a demand for health clubs, where members go not only for the exercise but additional facilities such as saunas, dwell areas and food bars.  But worldwide there is an emerging market of price sensitive potential members who simply want to train.  We believe we can accommodate both groups through RED and our flagship health clubs. We are merely broadening the opportunities to keep South Africans active.’