IHRSA 2018 – San Diego

IHRSA 2018 – San Diego 900 675 Hans Muench

The IHRSA Convention is a highlight of the year, meeting up with friends and industry colleagues from around the world. Here are some impressions, memories and takeaways:

IHRSA’s Convention was steps away from historic old town of San Diego.

Geoffry Little of Virtuagym with Frank Napolitano, President of 24 Hour Fitness.

Tech is becoming a mainstay of working out/training at gyms and health clubs. Major trends HIIT and group training are increasing in popularity; AR + VR are emerging; Video is playing more of role in training, gyms and hardware are increasingly witnessing connected strength.

Some wise words from the opening session!

Augies Quest

Augies Quest – Augie Nieto, former president of Life Fitness (my first significant role in the fitness business was their Sales & Marketing Director for EMEA for 8 years), has been fighting ALS for 13 years. The Bash raised over USD 6 Million to find a cure for this debilitating illness.

David Barton with Leila and Hans

The iconic David Barton (founder of TMPL Gym, New York) with Leila Timergaleeva, IHRSA Ambassador for Russia who I discovered in Moscow ten years ago working at Golds Gym. Leila will be presenting with me at the Gym Factory International Congress in Madrid May 10th.

Colin Milner and Hans

Colin Milner-head of the International Council on Active Aging, based in Vancouver, recognized the importance of prevention for seniors very early. He is a sought-after speaker.

Hannes Thies and Christian Jund with Hans

Hannes Thies and Christian Jund of Perform Better Europe run the Functional Training Conference in Munich each year, an event that I have attended many times.

Hans and Jay Blahnick

Jay Blahnick – Head of Fitness for Apple among the many influential attendees.

Hans and Tony DeLeede

Tony Deleede – the effervescient Aussie I have known for over 20 years, shared a wonderful breakfast with me in Sydney two years ago.

Christin Kalve, Andre Saxegaard and Lisa Mausehagen

Norwegian allies – IHRSA Ambassador Christin Kalve, Andre Saxegaard and Lisa Mausehagen of Credi Care, have been long time friends and supporters.

Hand with Patch (David Patchell-Evans)

Patch (David Patchell-Evans) is President of the GoodLife Clubs of Canada and organiser of the annual CanFitPro event in Toronto in August that I regularly attend.

Hans with Paul Brown

Paul Brown – an institution and inspiration from Paradise Point, Australia, hosted me two years ago during my first trip „down under“.

Hans with Richard Earney and Midtown Club Manager

Richard Earney and Brad Houx of the iconic Midtown Group in Chicago, Illinion. In October 2017 I visited their new flagship club in, one of the world’s top facilities.

Jim Teatum and Hans

Jim Teatum – former President of Nautilus, and at 73, keeps training daily – an inspiration to us all.

With Kerri Obrien at the Eleiko booth

Kerri O’Brien – new Education Manager of Eleiko USA is an industry veteran who will help their clients across the country get the most out of their training and first class equipment.

Ralf Capalan and Hans

Ralf Capalan – fellow lecturer at the German University of Health, Fitness and Prevention is also the lead researcher for the annual DSSV „Eckdaten“ report.

Val Shaw at the Myobuddy booth

Val Shah Myobuddy – this portable massage unit is now available in Europe, one of my new clients.

Waldyr Soares and Hans

Waldyr Soares – the „grey eminence“ of Fitness Brasil and one of the prime movers in the global fitness scene.

Hans and David Chan and his Hong Kong Precor team

David Chan Precor agent in Hong Kong. My three years in the former British Crown Colony in the early 80’s remain fond memories for me. Things have changed a lot since then, as I witnessed on a trip there in 2016.


As part of my trip to San Diego, I visited Tijuana with my two friends: Darius Sarrafi from my University of Portland days and Solveig Schluter from Kaifu Lodge in Hamburg. we enjoyed Caesers Salads at the original Caesar’s Hotel and Restaurant, drank Tequila and took in the atmosphere:

With my friend Darius Sarrafi

Mural at Ceasars

Great selection of Tequila!


As I am writing this, I am already heading off to Köln for the EHFF Conference and FIBO (Thursday to Saturday), after IHRSA the most important week of the year for me. I’ll be giving two presentations Thursday (Japanese delegation) and Friday (EMS Symposium), and will be splitting my time between booths of Virtuagym (Hall 8, D27), Club Joy (8,E46) and Aerobis (9 A20).


See you soon!