Bury Council, who recently partnered with Matrix Fitness to refurbish and upgrade the fitness suites including the digital upgrade of its Leisure Centres have become the first in the UK to integrate MX4 Active, an expansion of the Matrix Fitness MX4 small group training solution based on scientifically validated research to target beginners, the ageing population and the deconditioned.

Castle Leisure Centre, Radcliffe Leisure Centre and Ramsbottom Pool & Fitness Centre in Bury have introduced MX4 Active small group training from Matrix Fitness in order to ease the transition to an active lifestyle by including movements that are low impact, yet develop coordination, balance, flexibility and skeletal and muscular strength. 

Councillor Andrea Simpson, cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said: “With the help of Matrix Fitness, we have already digitalised our offering to provide a more engaging customer journey. Now, with the introduction of MX4 Active, our goal is to effectively connect with those with a lower baseline fitness. Special considerations have been made to ensure the programme can serve the needs of older individuals and the deconditioned, blending cardio-based modalities with functional training to support improvements.”

“With 3,500 members across the three leisure centres, the council hopes the recent digital upgrades and the new MX4 Active programming will attract even more customers to lead a healthier lifestyle.”

The programming aims to ease the transition to an active lifestyle by including movements that are low impact yet develop coordination, balance, flexibility and skeletal and muscular strength. Both MX4 and MX4 Active have similar programming features such as periodisation, the equipment and weekly structures but they key differences are the coaching style and the portfolio of exercises.

Chris Porrino, Matrix Fitness Area Manager, North adds: “Trainers of MX4 Active need to be empathetic and reassuring in their delivery. Calm, clear and unrushed instructions paired with physical demonstrations. 

From our research, beginners, the ageing population and the deconditioned prefer familiarity to their workouts, not variety. We therefore focus on a ‘learn it, then work it’ practice which builds confidence. Members acclimatise to the exercises and movement patterns before increasing intensity. Overall, we have changed the environment, the experience and the stimulus to engage in the process.

MX4 Active is an ideal addition to facility timetables, helping older and less fit members form a habit of exercise. Programming can be modified to fit members with different limitations and scaled to accommodate large groups. 

“Given the global pandemic, the importance of staying active and healthy is higher on the public agenda than ever before.” Porrino adds. “At Matrix Fitness, we recognise that some people now prioritising their fitness may be new to the gym environment, of an older age group or deconditioned. Therefore, with MX4 Active we are doing what we can to remove barriers and encourage as many people as possible to be more active, more often.”

When group exercise restrictions allow, the MX4 Active small group training will be added to the timetables at all three leisure centres.

To learn more about Bury Council Leisure Centres visit www.bury.gov.uk/buryleisure or to learn about MX4 Active visit uk.matrixfitness.com/en/education/mx4-active