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You've made it this far, so a massive thank you from me (Tony Zonato) to you.

The idea for the GROUPEX Podcast started back in January 2021. And after a few false starts, primarily finding my style, it took flight on the 15th June.

The first episode was recorded 3 times before I was happy with how it went. It then took me about 3 weeks to edit it and get out all of the sniffs, burps, farts and dogs barking in the background. (I reckon I could have done a better job, but it was ok for my first attempt)


This all started when I joined Les Mills Asia Pacific back in July of 2012. My Job Title was Account Manager for NSW & WA. My role was to travel NSW & WA visiting all of the licensee's that were running Les Mills Programs to assist them with everything to do with their group fitness classes. From help with recruitment, right through to running successful events, I had a ball and got to meet so many different interesting people.

It was during one of my first visits that it dawned on me that somewhere along the way (since I joined the industry in 2003) our industry stopped referring to it as GROUP EXERCISE and started referring to it as GROUP FITNESS. But why? I clearly remember seeing a sign above the studio door in North Sydney Fitness First that read "Group Exercise Studio 1". Not only that but there was a "GX" logo on the printed timetable it was purple and pink.

I'd seen a few clubs on my first week of visiting clubs on the South Coast of NSW and the first thing that really stood out was that some clubs were not recording their class attendance or if they were they didn't know what to do with the data and how to analyse it. So off I set to find a solution on how I could help these clubs record this data and use this data to make decisions based on fact instead of emotion or word of mouth.

This is when GEMS (Group Exercise Management System) was designed, well at least in concept form anyway. I took the words that I had become accustomed to GROUP EXERCISE and then the solution that was needed MANAGEMENT SYSTEM and started researching ways I could design something that would benefit every club than ran group classes.

I lashed out and spent $600 on a software program called FILEMAKER PRO 15 and the idea was under way... ... ... ...

Tune in again next week for another installment ... ... ...

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