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Health Club Chains Target Reality TV

CARLSBAD, CA, and CHICAGO — Two major health club chains are working with reality television shows to help Americans get in shape.

On the The Biggest Loser Sept. 13 season premiere, Mark Mastrov, 24 Hour Fitness chairman and CEO, appeared on the show to welcome the new members of the Biggest Loser club on air and encouraged them to continue their quest to make health a priority in their lives.

This is the second year that 24 Hour Fitness has sponsored the show, but this year, the branded content will be even more prominent. The chain outfitted two gyms (one indoor and one outdoor), supplied fitness equipment and provided uniforms for the new cast. In addition, 24 Hour Fitness certified personal trainers continued to take contestants' official measurements during weigh-ins.

Also new this year is the addition of motivation shirts, which originated in a 24 Hour Fitness advertising campaign. The advertisements featured people working out while wearing a T-shirt that stated their motivation for getting healthy. NBC picked up on the idea and incorporated it into the program, creating personalized shirts that reflected the motivations inspiring each contestant.

Bally Total Fitness also drew upon the popularity of a reality TV show — The Apprentice — to help Americans get fit. Both teams on the show designed a workout during the show's premier episode. The winning team's fitness class, now called the “Apprentice Workout,” is now offered in more than 400 Bally clubs nationwide. The group exercise class delivers a full body workout in a half an hour. Bally opened the class to all of its members and offered free passes to non-members to try the new workout. All attendees received free Billionaire in Training T-shirts and were entered into a sweepstakes.

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