Energy and boundless enthusiasm are probably prerequisites for any job in the local gym, but even by these standards you would hate to be waiting behind Lesley Cotton to get on the rowing machine.
HR director at health club Holmes Place, Cotton would probably be more at home on the shopfloor urging people to strive for those elusive 'five more repetitions' -such is her drive to get across the new HR message at the firm.
Cotton has only been in the post for around seven months. She joined the company at a time of major change when the organisation was looking closely at its offering and deciding how it could stand out from the growing crowd of competitors.
As HR director for UK and Europe, Cotton admits the sector is currently booming and that competition is increasingly tough, but she is excited about the contribution progressive people policies can make to the company's success.
"In this business, the people are the product and that's a great situation for HR. It's all about customer service and our people building the brand," she says.
"Our brand differentiator is the people we have working for us. I know lots of people say that, but for us there's a huge focus on the people and customer service because that's the main thing that can set us apart," she says.
As all but the most seasoned gym-goers will tell you, there is very little to choose between the major operators as the standard equipment is largely the same or at least comparable.
This is where HR can play a major role because customers will choose their gym on the experience they have with the personal trainers and other staff, especially at the top end of the market.
Getting the right people and keeping them in place has become one of the fundamental targets of the business, especially in a sector that has traditionally suffered high attrition rates and attracted a transient workforce.
Although retention has been difficult in the past, particularly as many staff only plan to work in the sector for a limited time, a targeted programme of measures to connect with employees and potential recruits is starting to bear fruit.
The scheme has been so successful that staff retention has dropped from 60 per cent six months ago, to around 25 per cent today.
"People do tend to come and go and a lot of the workforce only stay in the sector for a limited time," says Cotton. "In London especially, many of the workers are from the southern he