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Fitness + Technology

Welcome to the Fitness + Technology Podcast for club owners, operators, and fitness professionals! This show is your #1 trusted resource for the accelerating world of fitness technology. We regularly bring you an expert interview with a global influencer at the crossroads of fitness and technology. You’ll get the insights, tools, and inspiration you need to stay connected to the pulse of what matters most for your fitness business in the age of exponential technologies. This podcast is brought to you by the Fitness Industry Technology Council, who is mobilizing resources to drive the fitness industry forward, and representing leading companies and organizations to success through collaboration. This show is supported by Bryan O'Rourke and his family of companies including Vedere Ventures, a boutique investment and advisory firm helping early mature and late stage enterprises, moon mission media a digital marketing firm dedicated to the fitness space, and Integerus Advisors. To learn more visit bryankorourke.com
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Jun 12, 2018

For episode 68 we are grateful to talk with the former Netpulse President and now CEO of eGym North America, John Ford.

 

We pick the brain of John and discuss what's happening in the industry, what does technology really mean, where are we going and what are the pain points and opportunities.

 

Most of the focus in our industry has been focused on the people that are already part of our facilities, but there hasn't been nearly enough focus on the other 80% of the population who aren't successful today with fitness or involved with a gym.

 

Listen in as John expresses his insights on technology and how it helps motivate those that are fit to get more fit and to get those that aren't fit today, fit. Simplicity for user experience is key and eGym has broken their workouts down to provide this experience in the most motivating way.

 

John shares his thoughts on the current key trends within the fitness space that will be keeping our eye out on! Thank you Mr. Ford for being such a valuable guest. See you at canfitpro.

 

 

 

May 30, 2018

On episode 67 we visit with the SVP of Partner Relations at ABC Financial and FIT-C Board Member, Kelly Card.

What is the gap or opportunity of terms like data? Kelly shares her views on data and how data is coming into the fitness industry. It has operators frozen in fear so what can we do to work together to utilize these tools and create tangible business results?

Operators are getting an incredible opportunity to utilize data for the first time to create a new and exciting experience for their customers. Listen in as Kelly explains how we use this data to create actions.

There are challenges that come with opportunity. Technology solutions and integration can be tough but if it's cohesive for the member, can create a phenomenal experience.

Data and the new era of designing an experience for the member bring light to the process. Kelly shares her insights on how these can be applied to your own operations and cater to your own brand. 

 

May 17, 2018

On episode 66 we invite both Jessie Ehren and Al Marez to join the podcast as we recap one of the worlds largest fitness convention, EuropeActive and FIBO 2018.

Human Capital (the skills, knowledge, and experience possessed by an individual or population, viewed in terms of their value or cost to an organization) was the topic of this year's EuropeActive event and the perfect relation to Jessie's professional experiences.

Jessie, a consultant within the fitness industry, highlights the benefits in attending EuropeActive, a non-for-profit organization representing the whole of the European health and fitness sector in Brussels. The European health & fitness sector serves over 60 million consumers, generates 26.6 billion Euro in revenues, employs 650,000 people, and consists of 59,055 facilities. An experience to connect, learn and network with some of the most influential leaders in the fitness industry.

FIBO, the leading international trade show for fitness, wellness and health is an expo for sports, nutrition and healthy lifestyle. The event deals with over thousands of dealers, manufacturers, distributors and buyers.

Al, COO of VertiMax, provides some information on the VertiMax product and education and takes time to express the importance of having a presence within your international markets. Along with being part of the new innovations from around the world at FIBO.

May 2, 2018

For episode 65 we invite Dave Tillman to join the podcast and discuss service automation and how Service Channel's new partnership with Ecofit can explore a whole new level of customer support.

What's going to separate the guru genius brands from others, execution engines. Collection of data, enterprise platforms, automation (AI) and human capital will be key differentiators. 

Listen in as David shares the experiences that other industries have implemented and how it has created efficient operations and reduce costs for their businesses. Along with IOT providing data for owners to better manage their customer experience.

Apr 6, 2018

For episode 64 we recap IHRSA 2018 and listen in to the Round Table discussion on Artificial Intelligence - The Future is Here.

The round table panel consisted of Jeff VanDixhorn, Bryan K. O'Rourke and Victor Belfor while moderated by Delphine Carter and sponsored by Daxko

Listen as the panel shares their thoughts on AI. Where has Artificial Intelligence come from, how does it relate to today's world and where is it going in the near future. AI is here, what does this mean to your business and how will you adjust? Use the tools to customize your business and keep your connections personal and scaleable.

Enjoy the listen to the live Round Table from IHRSA 2018!

 

Mar 13, 2018

For episode 63 we sit down with CEO of Motosumo, Kresten Juel Jensen.

Technology in the Group Fitness space has recently been a big trend. How do we address the challenges in this space and address the changes?
 
Group Fitness has the potential to create a community where members stay with a facility for years. There is a whole new level to this community and engagement that fitness technology can provide.
 
Catering to the variety of goals to those that attend classes is challenging. On Episode 63 we discuss how you can individualize, personalize or identify the common drivers that all groups have to motivate them and get them to come back. Kresten explains how we use the data to get that effect through technology in the most positive and successful manner.

About Motosumo

Motosumo is one network connecting people participating in group training. One that makes people come back and invite others to adopt the good habit of training together.

2018 will be yet a very interesting year with the recent investment round fueling the growth of Motosumo in Europe and US as the first mobile only service connecting every participant in group training. In a real time. A unique combination of coaching, gaming, and social network. Available to any gym, independent of hardware.
For bikes and equipment without sensors, Motosumo is the first application in the World to use the built-in motion sensors of the phone to compute all relevant training metrics.

www.motosumo.com

Feb 28, 2018

For episode 62 we sit down with Co-Founder of Moon Mission Media, Brandi Bergeron.

As a Social Media Practitioner, Digital Business Strategist and Marketing Enthusiast Brandi helps people, businesses and brands develop and promote elevated marketing messages to engage, delight and convert current and future clients.

There are changes in the social world and we need to think about how we adjust. Facebook threw us a curve and Brandi has a new outlook on the process.

Listen in to learn and understand what relates to today's world in the social media and marketing industry. Don't undervalue engagement.  Just because you are on social media, are you actually maximizing your time with people and conversations you want your business to be a part of? Engage, connect and listen.

Thanks Brandi for being such a wonderful thought leader, mentor and insightful guest! 

Feb 19, 2018

For episode 61 we pick the brain of Area General Manager and Director of Sales and Marketing at West Wood Clubs and IHRSA Board Member, Alan Leach.

Alan is a regular speaker and presenter on sales and marketing for top business organizations around the world. Listen and learn how you can invest and make a difference in your members' fitness experiences. Also, learn what good marketing and bad marketing means in our industry. Don't loose hindsight of the original principles behind marketing. 

Marketing is not just advertising, it is everything you do.

Thank you Alan for bring such insightful thoughts to our listeners!

 

Feb 8, 2018

For episode 60 we catch up with CEO of Discover Strength, Luke Carlson. We were honored with his time at ChinaFIT and look forward to the future connections with such young talented man.

Listen in as we discuss the Chinese market and the technology implementations Luke uses at Discover Strength.

We thank Luke for his time and appreciate his insights.

Jan 24, 2018

On today's episode, we talk IHRSA 2018 and share Bryan K. O'Rourke's presentation from last year's presentation, "Poised for Expansion. The Future of the Fitness Industry."

Listen in as as Bryan discusses key trends that are impacting the industry and laying the ground work for 300% growth in the near future for the industry space. Consumer trends, technology trends, economic trends and globalism and how these things will converge to create a much larger market place then today.

The International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) is the fitness industry's only global trade association. IHRSA represents over 10,000 for profit health and fitness facilities and over 650 supplier companies in 71 countries. IHRSA's mission is to grow, protect and promote the health and fitness industry, and to provide its members with benefits that will help them be more successful.

The IHRSA 2018 Convention & Trade Show will be held in San Diego, CA, March 21-14, 2018. You can find out more at https://www.ihrsa.org/

 

Jan 11, 2018

For episode 58 we catch up with CEO of Anytime Fitness, Chuck Runyon. A great discussion around his recent book titled "Love Work" and how to create a high performance culture within the workforce.

 

As a leader or influencer, we are looking to help shake our culture to make it the best place, work. Go to work happy, leave work gratified.

"You should never have to miss life's most important moments."

Ask yourself, do you know what your employee value proposition is? Learn how to create and implement this value prop by listen to this episode with our dear friend, Chuck Runyon.

Dec 5, 2017

For episode 57 we're exploring the dynamic world of sports science at the crossroads of technology with Emmy award-winning writer and the author of "Unplugged," Phil White.

In this podcast we're talking about the connections between mindfulness and technology when it comes to breathing, eating, moving, sleeping, and exercising including the relationship of health club and fitness facilities and devices.

We also learn from Phil about the importance of what he calls having a "white belt mentality" when it comes to both fitness and technology, and why he believes that technology's best use case in fitness is to identify a movement fault that is potentially harmful to a client, know what the correct solution is, and to have the client implement that solution.

For successful coaches and trainers, we uncover why fitness technology must only be a tool in a professional's toolbox to help inform, educate, and increase self-awareness to get a client to a place where they are actually independent and no longer need that technology.

When it comes to sports science being fueled by technology, what are the real game changers and the most important aspects of consciously applied devices and software to truly support and uplift the human inside and outside the club? 

The answer to that question and much more takeaways for club owners, operators, and fitness pros in this episode with Phil white.

About The Book: Unplugged: Evolve from Technology to Upgrade Your Fitness, Performance, & Consciousness

In the first quarter of 2016, Americans bought 19.7 million fitness wearables, an increase of 67 percent over the previous year. By 2020, the global market for fitness-focused apps and devices is expected to grow to $30 billion. This means that more than ever, we’re looking at our wrists not only to check the time, but also to see how much we’ve moved, monitor our heart rate, and see how we’re stacking up against yesterday’s tallies.

As a result of our fitness tech addiction, we’ve lost awareness of what we’re doing, how we’re feeling, and what’s going on around us. This is bad enough in the gym, but when we get outside, the constant checking of a tiny screen truly wreaks havoc, downgrading what should be a rich experience into yet another task we need to complete to meet our daily goals. And if we fall short, we feel inadequate. There’s also the issue of data inaccuracy, with many device makers now admitting that their gadgets provide only estimates. So why do we continue to obsess over data and treat it as gospel truth?   

It’s time to stop, take a breath, and hit the reset button in a big way. Unplugged provides a blueprint for using technology to meet your health and performance goals in a much smarter way, while reconnecting to your instincts and the natural world. In addition to sharing the performance expertise of Brian Mackenzie and the scientific insight of Dr. Andy Galpin, Unplugged features exclusive stories and advice from elite athletes and world-renowned experts like Laird Hamilton, Tim Ferriss, Kai Lenny, Kelly Starrett, Steven Kotler, Erin Cafaro, Lenny Wiersma, Dr. Frank Merritt, and Brandon Rager.

About Phil White

Phil White is an Emmy-nominated writer who frequently contributes to The Inertia, SUP the Mag and Canoe & Kayak. He is the co-author, with Dr. Kelly Starrett, of the forthcoming books Flight Plan and Waterman 2.0, and is also collaborating on Game Changer with University of Michigan football performance director Dr. Fergus Connolly and Bridging the Gap with Sue Falsone, the first female athletic head trainer in Major League sports. His other books include Whistle Stop, which Larry King said, “I can’t put down,” and Our Supreme Task, which The Times Literary Supplement called “Illuminating.”

About "Game Changer" 

As the rewards for winning have increased, it’s no surprise that sports team budgets have followed suit. Sure, the athletic program at the University of Texas brought in $161 million last year, but the Longhorns also spent $154 million over the same period. Fifteen other college athletics program also racked up over $100 million in annual expenses. But that’s child’s play compared to the outgoings at the world’s most valuable soccer team, Manchester United, which spent more than $500 million in 2015. 

The trouble is that all this spending often fails to yield better results. Teams in all sports have tried just about every gimmick to “hack” their way to better performance. But as they’ve gotten stuck in stats, mired in backroom politics, and diverted by the facilities arms race, many have lost sight of what should’ve been their primary focus all along: the game itself. 

In Game Changer, Fergus Connolly shows how to improve performance with evidence-based analysis and athlete-focused training. Through his unprecedented experiences with teams in professional football, basketball, rugby, soccer, Aussie Rules, and Gaelic football, as well as with elite military units, Connolly has discovered how to break down the common elements in all sports to their basic components so that each moment of any game can be better analyzed, whether you’re a player or a coach. The lessons of game day then can be used to create valuable learning experiences in training, evaluate the quality of your team’s performance, and home in on what’s working and what isn’t. 

Game Changer also shows you how to expand training focus from players' physical qualities to also advance athletes technically, tactically, and psychologically. His TTPP Model not only helps players continually progress but also stops treating them like a disposable commodity and instead prioritizes athlete health.

Listen To Episode 057 As Phil Uncovers

  • Why Phil partnered with Coach Fergus Connolly to write Game Changer
  • Why when it comes to fitness technology Phil believes that for bio hacking or any "hacks" are only a short-term solution and are not sustainable for a life of health
  • Understanding the white belt mentality: being humble in your service and growth in a career
  • Training: RPE rate of perceived exertion vs. MEPS or HRV
  • Why Phil believes one of the most important coaching aspects for trainers is to stop trying to reduce everything to the physical
  • Exploring the Technical, Tactical, Psychological and Physical aspects of Game Changer
  • Quantitative vs. Contextual when we view the lens of fitness technology 
  • The Six Laws of Winning: 
    • The Law of Knowledge
    • The law of Human Superiority
    • The Law of Intensity & Quality
    • The Law of Individualization
    • The Law of Preparation 
    • The Law of Support 
  • Actionable steps for club owners, operators, and fitness professionals around technology and members
  • The role of emotional intelligence in the age of exponential technology
  • Going back to the basics: eating, moving, breathing, sleeping, human connection with specialized training
  • Why successful fitness trainers and clubs will encapsulate technology into a wellness ecosystem rather than just being fitness specific
  • What Phil beliefs about college athletics that transferred to the fitness industry in both monetary concern and client care
  • Parting guidance for owners and operators in 2018

Top 3 Takeaways From The Show

  • Emotional intelligence is becoming a more valuable skill set every day in a world of fitness technology and a growing dependency that some coaches may fall into with too much of a focus on the actual device, rather than cuing their client for movement and behavior. Phil believes that with the right amount of mindfulness, fitness pros and coaches can use fitness tech as a tool for cueing, learning, and sensing instead of as a taskmaster that stresses them out.
  • Understanding the six laws of winning in the fitness industry and in athletics, when we look at the segment of human superiority, Phil believes that fitness and coaching has always been and will continue to always be a truly shoulder to shoulder personal endeavor. While technology can support behaviors virtually along with concierge coaching, the most important part of your facility's approach for the client entering a relationship with a trainer to be a win is that there must be a focus on human superiority in contrast to technology.
  • Phil believes that we all must "major in the majors" in order for health club members and personal training clients to achieve the real transformation their paying for. The law of individualization states that highly effective winners can't be mass-produced in a short training cycle, and in that same regard, no matter where our industry rides the wave of exponential tech in 2018, what's most important is that we always remember the basics of eating, moving, sleeping, breathing, and human connection. These must be uplifted by the tech we use, and in this world of distraction the fitness industry has an incredible responsibility on its shoulders: to give our millions of members worldwide a trusted space to practice those basics and never forget no matter how much technology grows to keep the human as the master rather than the servant.

Power Quotes From Phil White

"It's not enough to have quantitative analysis through a fitness device unless you are putting it into a behavioral and environmental context."  - Phil White on the Fitness + Technology Podcast

"Technology's best use case in fitness is to identify a movement fault that is potentially harmful to a client, know what the correct solution is, and then have the client implement that solution. For best success, you use fitness technology only as a tool in your toolbox to help inform, educate, and increase self-awareness to get your client to a place where they are independent and no longer need that technology." - Phil White on the Fitness + Technology Podcast

Resources Mentioned From Phil White

Thanks To Our Outstanding Sponsors

  • Bryan O’Rourke and his family of companies including Vedere VenturesIntegerus Advisors, and many more. If you are looking for unmatched guidance, capital, insights or a great speaker or facilitator, Bryan and his partners are the go to resource for your organization. To learn more visit bryankorourke.com
  • The Fitness Industry Technology Council, your non-profit resource for reliable technology information supported by forward looking brands who are seeking to drive increased technology adoption in the fitness industry. Make a difference and join FIT-C at fittechcouncil.org today
  • Check out Bryan and his partner Robert Dyer's recent book "9 Partnership Principles: A Story of Life Lessons" which is available now on Amazon.com

Become A FIT-C Podcast Sponsor

Nov 28, 2017

For episode 56, where learning and growing from the CTO of FitMetrix, Josh Lloyd about using technology for the member to win. This is something that we explore quite a bit on the show, but this is a deeper discussion where we are learning from Josh about the strategy and tools that will connect the sometimes disparate technology silos inside and outside the club to help bring them back together.

In this podcast we're talking about not only how to use technology to enhance and uplevel the customer experience but also how to incentivize healthy living through data points collected via gamification and that relationship to smart push notifications sent to members.

FitMetrix was founded in 2013 to solve a need around group training but has now evolved to a more robust platform that does much more by bringing in best practices from outside the fitness industry: FitMetrix has significant technical experience and believes customer service is the most critical path to success.

With technology racing ahead faster than ever before what are the smart data sets that club owners and operators can piece together in a tracking solution designed to increase member retention while giving clients better results? 

The answer to that question and much more takeaways for club owners, operators, and fitness pros in this episode with  Josh Lloyd.

About Josh Lloyd

Josh Lloyd is the co-founder and CTO of FitMetrix, which provides state of the art technology to gyms and health clubs to give members the ability to schedule, train and receive real-time tracking of effort and performance through a facility’s website or customizable app.

FitMetrix has partnered with hundreds of gyms across the nation, including Life Time Fitness, Gold’s Gym, Cycle Bar, Cooper Institute, US Fitness and more. Prior to co-founding FitMetrix, Josh was the co-founder and visionary of ShopVisible LLC, which provided business owners with smart technology that combined solutions for customer service, back office, inventory, marketing, accounting and IT into one SEO friendly tool. Due to the success of ShopVisible, Josh was ranked as one of Atlanta Business Leaders’ Top 25 Entrepreneurs in Atlanta in 2012. Prior to ShopVisible, Josh was the Director of Research and Development for CareMedic Systems Inc., as well as Omega Systems Inc.

Josh has a bachelor’s degree in business from Florida Atlantic University and has 20 years of experience in professional software development.

Listen To Episode 056 As Josh Uncovers

  • Why Josh left the automotive industry to retail and now fitness
  • How key data from treadmills, ellipticals, rowers, and other cardio pieces can be used to tailor the member experience by tying them into a deeply functional tracking solution
  • Why getting the information from the members exercise sessions while in the club is a powerful proactive fitness facilities
  • How to use leaderboards to drive member journey in class settings
  • How to use smart activity data that ties into the long tail of a member's journey
  • How proactive fitness facilities and health clubs are creating an ecosystem that contains brand evangelists 
  • How a brand can bring value to a member even when they aren't in the 4 walls of the club 
  • The role of wearables and insurance companies in big health data and how facilities can explore a win-win
  • Why Josh believes that this is the most exciting time to be in the fitness industry
  • Understanding "Emotional Resistance" – why people do things to sabotage their success in reaching fitness goals
  • Why FitMetrix partnered with Perkville to engage more members in 2018
  • Actionable steps for club owners, operators, and fitness professionals around technology and members 

Top 3 Takeaways From The Show

  • The merging of the inside club data and outside club data is more important in 2018 than before. Josh believes that smart aggregate data from treadmills, ellipticals, rowers, and other cardio pieces can be used to tailor the member experience by tying them into a deeply functional tracking solution. By getting the information from the member's exercise sessions while in the club, proactive fitness facilities can now reach more of an emotional context for motivation by delivering detailed and actionable incentives to members.
  • Josh speaks to the power of using leaderboards to drive more members to a successful health journey. At the end of the day when the technology is not there, you're self-regulating. When a member's stats are up on a leaderboard at the same time of the people next to them, they are going to push themselves harder, and everyone's going to push themselves harder, which creates a more dynamic class experience that they'll tell their friends about.
  • When we view the power of wearables and creating a true ecosystem that is built for the member to win, clubs that partner with insurance companies and medical fitness organizations will now start to rise above their competitors as we look towards 2018 with more tools, technology, and the need for programs that reward people at their deepest needs.

Power Quotes From Josh Lloyd

"What we must ask as an industry is what can we be doing outside of just booking a class, outside of what is just happening in the studio, but also what are the other opportunities we can use to engage with the member?"  - Josh Lloyd on the Fitness + Technology Podcast

"At the end of the day when the technology is not there, you're self-regulating. When you're up on a leaderboard at the same time of the people next you, you're going to push yourself harder, everyone's going to push themselves harder." - Josh Lloyd on the Fitness + Technology Podcast

Resources Mentioned From Josh

Thanks To Our Outstanding Sponsors

  • Bryan O’Rourke and his family of companies including Vedere VenturesIntegerus Advisors, and many more. If you are looking for unmatched guidance, capital, insights or a great speaker or facilitator, Bryan and his partners are the go to resource for your organization. To learn more visit bryankorourke.com
  • The Fitness Industry Technology Council, your non-profit resource for reliable technology information supported by forward looking brands who are seeking to drive increased technology adoption in the fitness industry. Make a difference and join FIT-C at fittechcouncil.org today
  • Check out Bryan and his partner Robert Dyer's recent book "9 Partnership Principles: A Story of Life Lessons" which is available now on Amazon.com

Become A FIT-C Podcast Sponsor

Nov 21, 2017

On episode 055, get ready for a compelling and insightful conversation live from Titleist Performance Institute in San Diego, CA with its Co-Founder Dr. Greg Rose, a pioneer in 3-dimensional biomechanics, strength and conditioning, and expert in fitness technology.

In this podcast we're taking a deep dive into the success of TPI and it's impact on the fitness industry as a whole. If you are a fitness pro or operator that has been curious about using technology, apps, and movement screens to deliver better results to your clients and revenue to the club, you're going to enjoy this thought-provoking show. 

Through the past 17 years, Greg has helped thousands of golfers of all skill levels reach peak athletic performance. His cutting edge yet research-based form of functional training combined with golf-specific motor learning drills have made Greg one of golf’s top strength and conditioning professionals.  

Greg has also been an integral component in the creation of the "Jugamos Todos" program developed by TPI Sports, working in conjunction with the Mexican Ministries of Health and Education, along with the support of the Mexican Football Federation by launching this Physical Education Program deployed across the country's elementary schools to create a sports movement based program, as one of the foundations for thier official FEMEXFUT app-based Youth Pathway.

What new technology can fitness pros and operators begin to harness that support low-cost movement screening, help fight childhood obesity, and deliver more ROI to clubs? 

The answer to that question and much more takeaways for club owners, operators, and fitness pros in this episode with Dr. Greg Rose.

About Dr. Greg Rose 

Greg is a board certified Doctor of Chiropractic and holds an engineering degree from the University of Maryland.  Greg specializes in assessing and treating golfers, 3-dimensional biomechanics, strength and conditioning, manual therapy, rehabilitation, nutritional supplementation and therapeutic exercises. Combining an engineering background with an expertise on the human body, Greg helped pioneer the field of analyzing 3-dimensional motion capture models of the golf swing. That research has helped golf professionals all over the world gain a better understanding of how the body works during the golf swing. 

Through the past 17 years, Greg has helped thousands of golfers of all skill levels reach peak athletic performance. His cutting edge yet research-based form of functional training combined with golf-specific motor learning drills have made Greg one of golf’s top strength and conditioning professionals.  

Greg also helped develop the Selective Functional Movement Assessment (SFMA), a revolutionary movement assessment that helps identify altered motor control and guides medical practitioners on how to treat patients more efficiently. Greg frequently appears on the Golf Channel.  The TPI certification seminar series has made Greg one of the most requested speakers in golf health and fitness. He has lectured in over 21 countries and has been featured in many golf and news publications.

Listen To Episode 055 As Greg Uncovers

  • How an early engineering job working on a golf course led him to be one of the first (if not the 1st) specicliazed golf chiropractors in the United States 
  • What impact Titleist Performance Institute is creating in the fitness, golf, and technology worlds 
  • How Greg became an early pioneer in 3D Motion Capture technology
  • Understanding the major comments and types of 3D Motion Capture: 
    • Video
    • Infrared
    • Electromagnetic 
    • Inertial sensors 
  • The power of performing a physical screening under 3D motion capture for athletes and fitness clients 
  • Why the use of force and pressure tools in motion capture is so beneficial to the coach 
  • Why Greg believes that nutrition is more powerful than working out
  • Understanding the layers of longterm behavior change: the "elephant" in the room
  • How sugar is as addicting to the brain as heroin for both adults and children 
  • Why TPI will be creating a Health & Fitness Certification for the USPTA in 2018
  • How TPI is creating positive health impact in Mexico to combat child obesity
  • Greg's 3 pillars of success in the fitness industry:
    • Be the best at what you do
    • Get results
    • Create your community
  • Why Greg has learned that when it comes to clients having longterm success, look at movement patterns first 
  • Uncovering the 1-1 vs. group training paradigm: Why people work harder in groups and stay longer 
  • Actionable takeaways for facilities looking to begin implementing new technologies for fitness staff
  • 2018 trends and developments around the industry and globally 

Top 3 Takeaways From The Show

  • When we understand the next level of results-driven fitness technology, diagnostics are everything. Greg shared in our podcast that screening with the right technology first and programming second will create optimal results and the help to support the best movement patterns. There any many technology apps, devices, and ways to screen an athlete in both golf and general fitness out there, and exercise prescription and periodization should only come after effectively screening the athlete or the client.
  • Greg believes that over the next several years we will see a unique way to tailor exercise programs to the client through a kiosk that screens for movement in our big box clubs. With the exponential growth of fitness technology, the screening capability and quality assessment tools will become even less expensive and ubiquitous in the industry which will lead to an increase in personal training packages and member engagement.
  • With youth obesity of an all time high, Greg sees technology as one of the causes of the problem and also simultaneously the solution. The specialized app created to help Mexico youth is just a first step on the path to using technology as a powerful tool to move the needle back to health. We are becoming more clear everyday about the fact that in the age of a technology revolution, its really hard to get kids to move, so if we want to win the battle against childhood obesity, we must use smart technology to do so.

Power Quotes From Dr. Greg Rose 

"You must realize that when it comes to behavior change pshycology and losing weight, there are two parts of you: the rational and the emotional. Your logical brain understands that you need to lose weight, but your emotional being must also be convinced."  - Dr. Greg Rose on the Fitness + Technology Podcast

"I think that most wearables are stuck in logic."  - Dr. Greg Rose on the Fitness + Technology Podcast

"In the age of technology revolution, its really hard to get kids to move, so if we want to win the battle against childhood obesity, we must use smart technology to do so."  - Dr. Greg Rose on the Fitness + Technology Podcast

Resources Mentioned From Dr. Greg

Thanks To Our Outstanding Sponsors

  • Bryan O’Rourke and his family of companies including Vedere VenturesIntegerus Advisors, and many more. If you are looking for unmatched guidance, capital, insights or a great speaker or facilitator, Bryan and his partners are the go to resource for your organization. To learn more visit bryankorourke.com
  • The Fitness Industry Technology Council, your non-profit resource for reliable technology information supported by forward looking brands who are seeking to drive increased technology adoption in the fitness industry. Make a difference and join FIT-C at fittechcouncil.org today
  • Check out Bryan and his partner Robert Dyer's recent book "9 Partnership Principles: A Story of Life Lessons" which is available now on Amazon.com

Become A FIT-C Podcast Sponsor

Nov 14, 2017

New technologies in the fitness space are helping everyone achieve greater results as digital reward programs are making the gym experience more enjoyable for customers and more profitable for owners. In the past, running a loyalty program was fairly expensive and required a great deal of manual effort. Now there are automated tools available and tailored to the fitness space that allow members to track progress, use points, and interact with the club, all without the need for additional staff to facilitate the process. 

This episode is for club owners, operators, and fitness professionals to explore the impact of how digital reward programs can be used to drive engagement, increase spend-per-member, and improve customer retention.

For episode 054 we're joined by Sunil Saha, the Co-Founder and CEO of Perkville, a company offering custom automated loyalty programs in minutes that is revolutionizing how businesses motivate their customers to help them grow.

Sunil also discusses how fitness management systems are investing heavily in their API's and mobile platforms which is opening up the ecosystems for new players to come in and have an incredible impact on engagement and member experience in the health club industry.

With the plethora of technologies at our disposal to increase customer loyalty, how can we use these digital platforms and automated services to enhance the member experience and reduce monthly attrition? 

The answer to that question and much more takeaways for club owners, operators, and fitness pros in this episode with Sunil Saha.

About Sunil Saha

Sunil Saha is the Co-Founder and CEO of Pervkille, a company offering custom automated loyalty programs in minutes that is revolutionizing how businesses motivate their customers to help them grow.

Sunil has been working in technology for over 15 years since graduating with a BA in Human Biology from Stanford and enjoys working in teams to build things that the fitness industry needs in the era of exponential technology, including product management, internet services, healthcare, small business marketing, and more.

Listen To Episode 054 As Sunil Saha Uncovers

  • The customer loyalty trends that Sunil believes will impact the fitness space in 2018  
  • How mobile platforms are allowing companies to digitize their loyalty programs 
  • The ways technology is impacting the member experience in small and large facilities
  • How to measure the effectiveness of our customer loyalty programs
  • Why larger facilities should focus on driving down their monthly attrition rates
  • How facilities can use A/B Testing to increase referrals and optimize landing pages
  • Strategies for facilities that sell monthly packages to increase their Repeat Customer Rate
  • Striking the right balance on spending enough to keep members engaged without breaking the bank
  • How facilities can generate customer loyalty by exceeding their member's expectations 
  • Why new members need to receive meaningful rewards within 3 to 6 months of joining
  • How to create customer advocates who will share their experience on social media and help leverage powerful word-of-mouth advertising 
  • How to identify the activities and rewards that are compelling for your members
  • The split testing techniques that Sunil used at LinkedIn
  • How to use rewards to gain information by enticing members to fill out surveys
  • Why engagement increases 30-50% when staff members are properly trained to talk about the program
  • How Perkville is experimenting with machine learning to identify members who may stop coming to the club
  • Additional technologies that are impacting customer loyalty in the fitness verticle
  • How to create loyal customers by using tech to respond to member issues

Top 3 Takeaways From The Show

  • Exceeding member expectations is a critical piece for any facility who wants to increase customer retention. Sunil recommends implementing loyalty programs shortly after a member joins and allowing them to start seeing rewards within the first 3 to 6 months. This can act as a successful differentiator for your facility and quickly create a loyal and engaged customer. Along with creating this up-front value, it's also necessary to show member's their progress along the way to keep them motivated as they work towards their goals. 
  • Leadership from the top down regarding loyalty programs through educating staff is paramount. If a loyalty program is going to be successful, it's necessary to share, communicate, and properly disseminate within the club. Sunil has seen a 30-50% increase in engagement when staff members are properly trained to talk about the value of loyalty programs. 
  • It's important that club's find a good balance between their marketing efforts and their spending. What Perkville helps clubs figure out is how to spend enough to reward and keep members involved without breaking the bank. Facilities must identify the rewards that are compelling enough for their members, while also setting points at the right values on the earning and the redemption side.  When the club sets the points at the right values, they increase the chance of having a meaningful and cost-effective program, which at the end of the day means more members seeing their health goals come to fruition.

Power Quotes From Sunil Saha

"Being able to test is key to understanding how your marketing programs are performing."  Sunil Saha on the Fitness + Technology Podcast

"If you structure your membership program incorrectly, it will either cost you too much money or fail to have an impact on your business."  Sunil Saha on the Fitness + Technology Podcast

"Quickly responding to customer feedback is one of the fastest ways you can build customer advocacy."  - Sunil Saha on the Fitness + Technology Podcast

Resources Mentioned From Sunil Saha

Thanks To Our Outstanding Sponsors

  • Bryan O’Rourke and his family of companies including Vedere VenturesIntegerus Advisors, and many more. If you are looking for unmatched guidance, capital, insights or a great speaker or facilitator, Bryan and his partners are the go to resource for your organization. To learn more visit bryankorourke.com
  • The Fitness Industry Technology Council, your non-profit resource for reliable technology information supported by forward looking brands who are seeking to drive increased technology adoption in the fitness industry. Make a difference and join FIT-C at fittechcouncil.org today
  • Check out Bryan and his partner Robert Dyer's recent book "9 Partnership Principles: A Story of Life Lessons" which is available now on Amazon.com

Become A FIT-C Podcast Sponsor

Nov 7, 2017

For episode 053, we're joined by best selling author, speaker, and behavior change expert Nir Eyal, as he shares the powerful insights and strategies that companies inside and outside the fitness industry use to create engaging products and foster repeat clientele.

Today on the show, we navigate the intersection of psychology, technology, and business, as Nir provides a comprehensive approach for using modern technology to build habit-forming products and how to apply these techniques to the wellness and fitness world.

We dive into the psychological principles that lead to habit change with Eyal's "Hook" model, which involves four main steps: trigger, action, variable reward, and investment. He explains the value of understanding these different stages, and how building around your user's' own internal drivers will help to create an emotionally rewarding experience and keep customers coming back for more. 

With all the advances in our modern world, how can club owners and fitness pros combine new technologies and these habit-forming principles to make a profound impact on health, create loyal fans, and increase member retention?

The answer to that question and much more takeaways for club owners, operators, and fitness pros in this episode with Nir Eyal.

About Nir Eyal

Nir Eyal writes, consults, and teaches about the intersection of psychology, technology, and business. The M.I.T. Technology Review dubbed Nir, “The Prophet of Habit-Forming Technology.”

Nir founded two tech companies since 2003 and has taught at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford. He is the author of the bestselling book, Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products.In addition to blogging at NirAndFar.com, Nir’s writing has been featured in The Harvard Business Review, TechCrunch, and Psychology Today.

Nir is also an active investor in habit-forming technologies. Some of his past investments include: Refresh.io (acquired by LinkedIn), Worklife (acquired by Cisco), Eventbrite, Product Hunt, Marco Polo, Presence Learning, 7 Cups, Pana, Kahoot!, Byte Foods, Anchor.fm, and Symphony Commerce. Nir attended The Stanford Graduate School of Business and Emory University.

Listen To Episode 053 As Nir Eyal Uncovers

  • Behavior design principles that can build healthy habits into our wellness routine
  • The crucial difference between forming habits and developing addictions
  • How to maintain our ethics when manipulating the habits and behaviors of the consumer
  • How gym's can use tech to create sustainable and healthy behavior change for their members
  • The basic tenants of products and services that lead to habit formation
  • How facilities can minimize advertising costs by increasing member retention
  • Understanding our "present bias" nature how to speed up reward systems
  • How to create present moment rewards that hook people into healthy behaviors
  • Why simplicity is key for creating sustainable behavior change
  • How clubs can use client's biometrics and activity data to create a virtual coaching experience 
  • How we can leverage "tribe effect" and "social contagion" to steer our actions
  • Communication tools that to add accountability and build engaged communities
  • How to identify the needs of your target consumer and deliver on your promises
  • The "Hook Model", a basic framework of the 4 key stages:
    • Trigger: How does the loop initiate? In the beginning, this may be through external triggers (such as an email, notification, icon badge, etc) but through successive loops, the user eventually creates internal triggers where a particular thought or emotion will send them back to your product.
    • Action: Once the user is aware they need to use your product (through the trigger), what it the simplest action they can perform to get some kind of reward. For example, a Facebook "Like".
    • Variable reward: How are they rewarded for this behavior? This could be social validation (e.g. "my friends approve!"), collection of material resources (e.g. add a photo to a collection) or personal gratification (e.g. inbox zero). The "variable" part is important - rewards should not always be predictable, encouraging users to repeat the cycle.
    • Investment: Finally, the user needs to put something back in to increase the chance of repeating the loop. This could be content (e.g. a book in your Kindle), user entered data (e.g. profile information or linked accounts), reputation (e.g. something to gain a 5 star seller review), or a learned skill (e.g. I'm now really good at this software program). The investment also sets up the trigger to for the next cycle of the loop.

Top 3 Takeaways From The Show

  • It's more profitable for clubs to keep their existing members than to acquire new ones. Gym owners must not fall into the mentality that losing customers each year is simply par for the course and that all they have to do is keep advertising to bring in new business. Nir recommends placing a heavy emphasis on using tech that will engage the member and keep them coming back so businesses save on costly advertising and avoid aggressive marketing campaigns. 
  • Nir reminds us that we have to understand that human behavior is symptomatic of what's known as “present bias." This tendency proves the importance of creating an immediate reward system to hook our customers and bring the gratification from their actions closer to the present moment. Using exciting new tech and social contagion can help create better exercise habits in members by adding more enjoyment to the workout experience. 
  • With the exciting advances in technology, it's important to develop a truly ethical framework for "hooking" people through psychological manipulation. Some of the technologies we see today drive addiction with little regard for the detrimental impact on the consumer's health, but Nir believes if we keep wellness at the forefront of our product creation and tech implementation we will be successful in building healthy habits to enhance the lives of our consumers.

Power Quotes From Nir Eyal

"Wherever new technologies suddenly make a behavior easier, new possibilities are born ."  - Nir Eyal on the Fitness + Technology Podcast

"The big problem with humans is that we have a "present-bias" and don't assess the future consequences of our behaviors. We can change our actions by using technologies to bring the rewards closer to the present moment with the long-term goal of getting people to enjoy these behaviors."  Nir Eyal on the Fitness + Technology Podcast

"There are only three ways to capture your competition’s users’ habits. Either make the reward more fulfilling, send users through the hook faster, or cycle through the hook more frequently."  Nir Eyal on the Fitness + Technology Podcast

Resources Mentioned From Nir Eyal

Thanks To Our Outstanding Sponsors

  • Bryan O’Rourke and his family of companies including Vedere VenturesIntegerus Advisors, and many more. If you are looking for unmatched guidance, capital, insights or a great speaker or facilitator, Bryan and his partners are the go to resource for your organization. To learn more visit bryankorourke.com
  • The Fitness Industry Technology Council, your non-profit resource for reliable technology information supported by forward-looking brands who are seeking to drive increased technology adoption in the fitness industry. Make a difference and join FIT-C at fittechcouncil.org today
  • Check out Bryan and his partner Robert Dyer's recent book "9 Partnership Principles: A Story of Life Lessons" which is available now on Amazon.com

Become A FIT-C Podcast Sponsor

Oct 31, 2017

For Episode 052 we're joined by Simon Hall, Principal Consultant at Fitness Business Experts and the General Manager of MYPT App, to show us the strategies needed to leverage technology and social media for generating leads, creating an engaging community experience, and increasing customer retention.

Even in our fast-paced digital world, we still see a serious lag in the adoption of social strategies and new technologies with many of today's clubs and personal trainers. This failure to take advantage of social platforms and new advancements in the fitness space will cause many facilities to suffer as others begin to offer a more exciting and emotionally engaging experience. 

Coming up, Simon breaks down the concept of creating a "Club-Within-A-Club." With the recent success of studio and boutique training centers, he shows how larger gyms can create a similar appeal within their existing facilities by transforming the experience around exercise classes. We talk about how many forward thinking club's now have specific ecosystems for their group training programs through using new technologies, upbeat music, and specialized branding.

These features add a custom feel for the members and fosters a community around these segments of the gym that provide their own unique atmosphere apart from the main facility. 

We also talk about the shocking statistics of members who aren't aware their gyms are even on Facebook. Simon explains the importance of having someone to be the technology "Champion" in the club, who takes charge of social media interaction, and leads the digital front for customer retention.

It's one thing to have the technology, but implementing and bringing it to the consumer in a seamless way calls for someone who is tech-savvy, enjoys creating content and posting on social platforms, and has a true passion for building a trusted bridge between their customers and technology.

With the high level of competition and rising consumer expectations in our industry, how can clubs and fitness professionals take advantage of new technologies and social platforms to offer a unique experience, build an engaged community, and increase member retention?

The answer to that question and much more takeaways for club owners, operators, and fitness pros in this episode with Simon Hall.

About Simon Hall

From hotel health club receptionist to respected industry consultant, Simon has held key roles: General Manager of Fitness & Marketing for the New Zealand YMCA, Manager of the Australian & New Zealand Fitness Industry Survey, consultant to many leading independent and popular fitness club chains. He was also Chairman / board member of Fitness New Zealand.

As Principle Consultant at Fitness Business Experts, he assisted all types of fitness businesses and operations to manage their business, improving operational efficiency, setting and managing marketing strategy, membership sales processes and training and anything to improve their bottom line.

Simon is also the General Manager of MYPT App, a mobile app development company. MYPT has created a Personal Training management platform for trainers to manage all aspect of their business from lead generation to accounts tools and client management. 

Along with his proven insights on fostering a deep connection between clubs and their members, Simon is also revolutionizing how personal trainers manage their business with MYPT App. This incredible lead generation tool is opening the door to hundreds of new potential clients for qualified fitness professionals in their local areas, as well as offering the payment and accounting systems that trouble so many small business owners.

Listen To Episode 052 As Simon Hall Uncovers

  • How MYPT App is helping fitness professionals manage their business and attract new leads
  • Simon's volunteer work protecting his local beaches as a Surf Life Saver
  • The current digital strategies clubs should implement to increase retention rates
  • The power of creating a separate boutique "Club-Within-A-Club" experience inside larger facilities
  • Important trends in fitness technology that Simon has noticed over the past 30 years
  • How boutique clubs are utilizing new technologies to up-level the customer experience
  • Leveraging social media to engage with members, create a community feel, and increase customer retention
  • The benefits of sending fitness reports to your members after classes and workouts
  • How big-box clubs can implement a uniquely branded, high-engagement group exercise model
  • Why the boutique portion of your facility is a good place to begin implementing technology
  • The geographical location features of MYPT App that connects clients with qualified local trainers
  • Blending technology into the club to keep members motivated, active, and retained
  • New combination boutique studios that combine 2 or more offerings such as yoga, spin, boxing, group training, etc.

Top 3 Takeaways From The Show

  • Clubs have no choice and now must fully embrace social media as an important tool for customer retention and member engagement. Currently, even though the majority of clubs have Facebook Pages and most their members are on social media, many facilities are failing to leverage these powerful platforms to connect with their customers. Simon recommends simple actions like displaying your social feeds on screens in the lobby and having group trainers casually invite members to engage and tag their gym and workout on social media.
  • Many trainers have a difficult time with lead generation and managing the accounting side of their business. If a fitness professional would like to spend more time perfecting their training craft and less time attracting new customers, there are now technologies that can solve this problem. The MYPT App is creating leads by pairing trainers up with local clients in need of their services while also providing calendars, scheduling, reminders, payment processing and so much more. 
  • Simon shows us the increased potential of fitness technology when combined with a "Champion" in the club who can lead the technology charge. In an era of exponential technology growth, what's most important to fitness professionals and operators is to understand where they are missing opportunities to engage and increase retention by formulating a trusted bridge between their customers and the technology. 

Power Quotes From Simon Hall

"Owners and operators need to place a much higher focus on the two biggest challenges we still face in our industry, customer acquisition and retention."  - Simon Hall on the Fitness + Technology Podcast

"Whether it's for social media or high-end features, clubs need someone to 'Champion' their technology, get people involved, and ensure a smooth integration with members."  Simon Hall on the Fitness + Technology Podcast

"Clubs who are taking their time to adopt new technologies need to quickly get on board. Consumer expectations are rapidly increasing and businesses who fail to implement new features and foster a community atmosphere though social media will be left behind."  Simon Hall on the Fitness + Technology Podcast

Resources Mentioned From Simon Hall

Thanks To Our Outstanding Sponsors

  • Bryan O’Rourke and his family of companies including Vedere VenturesIntegerus Advisors, and many more. If you are looking for unmatched guidance, capital, insights or a great speaker or facilitator, Bryan and his partners are the go to resource for your organization. To learn more visit bryankorourke.com
  • The Fitness Industry Technology Council, your non-profit resource for reliable technology information supported by forward looking brands who are seeking to drive increased technology adoption in the fitness industry. Make a difference and join FIT-C at fittechcouncil.org today
  • Check out Bryan and his partner Robert Dyer's recent book "9 Partnership Principles: A Story of Life Lessons" which is available now on Amazon.com

Become A FIT-C Podcast Sponsor

Oct 24, 2017

For Episode 51 we are joined by Garrett Marshall, Divisional CEO of Fitness On Demand, to discover how digital video programming is helping facilities enhance personalization, take advantage of underutilized space, and provide a greater variety of exercise formats to the consumer.

We're also exploring how to leverage the consumer fitness groundswell in our space. Fitness On Demand™ is a market-leading delivery platform of virtual fitness. Since 2010, their services have allowed facilities around the world to economically deliver premium fitness programs to their users. With programming and services designed to optimize space, streamline operations, and offer unparalleled variety, their services are a perfect addition to fitness facilities, apartment complexes, hotels, and more.

It's been shown that on average, functional training and studio rooms inside of clubs remain vacant 60-70% of the time. These new technologies are allowing facilities to capitalize on this space and provide a new digital experience to their members. Aside from the traditional gym setting, we also see this feature becoming a powerful amenity at resorts, hotels, and health facilities who want to provide their customers with an effective and engaging workout experience 24 hours a day.

With the groundswell of consumer health and fitness awareness on the rise, how can we leverage these cloud hosted technologies to take advantage of underutilized space, reduce operating costs, and provide members with unique and engaging workouts?

The answer to that question and much more takeaways for club owners, operators, and fitness pros in this episode with Garrett Marshall.

About Garrett Marshall

Garrett Marshall is the Divisional CEO of Fitness On Demand™, a market-leading developer of fitness delivery products for media and programming. Garrett combines a breadth of experience with an industry-specific, laser-focused, career path. Investing himself fully in each opportunity along the way, Garrett has been fortunate to play a role in several successful fitness businesses. His achievements span a variety of employment positions in small and large organizational settings. 

In the past, he served as a consultant to the commercial division of Snap Fitness, the Chanhassen, Minnesota-based franchisor of compact, state-of-the-art, 24/7 fitness centers, and as the manager of business development for Fitness on Request, based in North Maple Grove, Minnesota, which also markets video-based group fitness workouts. His first foray into the industry was as a membership sales associate with Life Time Fitness, Inc., a chain of large, full-service clubs based in Chanhassen, Minnesota.

Listen To Episode 051 As Garrett Uncovers

  • How on demand fitness programming will apply to the commercial fitness space
  • Ways that commercial brands can take advantage of the rising consumer health awareness
  • How clubs can utilize technology to minimize the "dead" times in studio and functional training rooms
  • The frequency and format preferences that members desire from on-demand fitness training
  • Garrett's insights from 15+ years in the fitness & technology space
  • His recipe for success when implementing video training into the group exercise setting
  • The need for commercial operators to have a digital and mobile strategy
  • Fostering connection and the "tribe effect" using digital platforms
  • The 28-day on-boarding process that customers receive when implementing Fitness On Demand
  • How clubs can reduce costs by using on-demand fitness to replace the live classes and formats they have simply carried over to satiate member demand
  • The Fitness On Demand mobile application that gives club members access to their routines and regimens when they can't make it to the gym.
  • Knowing when to schedule virtual programming to meet medium-interest times in the day, or when to leave the product open for on-demand to use
  • How Fitness On Demand integrates with the Health Kits on Google play and iOS to capture key pieces of vital work out activity when members engage through their mobile application
  • Task management systems Garrett recommends for busy professionals
  • How Fitness On Demand plugs into non-traditional facilities like resorts and hotels 
  • Garrett's conviction and purpose that fuels his leadership in the fitness industry
  • The top factors that currently appeal to the consumer:
    • Experience, Convenience, Personalization, and Education 

Top 3 Takeaways From The Show

  • Garrett believes that although it's one of the most engaging amenities, group fitness has also traditionally been one of the largest operating expenses for facilities. To address this issue, Fitness On Demand is uniquely positioned to help the customer add more value with digital video programming by offering added frequency, availability, and a variety of training formats, while at the same time reducing labor costs. Clubs can seek out technologies like Fitness On Demand to offset the expenses of underutilized space and for a digital replacement to live group classes. 
  • Personalization is one of the top appealing factors we see over and over when researching the behaviors of fitness consumers. In order to personalize products and services, you need to intimately know your target demographic. This requires we understand our customer's behaviors, whether it be a current member or a new prospect. Achieving this comes down to the value of data we collect as club owners and operators, and how we act and execute based on that information.
  • In order to effectively integrate and utilize new technologies in the club, there needs to be continuous education for fitness professionals and staff members. It's imperative to take a top-down leadership approach and ensure every level of employee within the club, from management to the trainers and sales staff, knows what the integration of any new technology will achieve, has a complete understanding of why they are doing it, and can easily communicate that to members and new prospects.

Power Quotes From Garrett

"In order to personalize your products and services, you have to intimately know the behaviors and preferences of the target consumer." Garrett Marshall on the Fitness + Technology Podcast

"Data collection needs to be at the forefront for all aspects of how the member interacts with the facility." Garrett Marshall on the Fitness + Technology Podcast

"As much as our product is designed to be an on-demand and self-service tool, it's a feature that really requires ongoing implementation; not just installation."  Garrett Marshall on the Fitness + Technology Podcast

Resources Mentioned From Garrett Marshall

Thanks To Our Outstanding Sponsors

  • Bryan O’Rourke and his family of companies including Vedere VenturesIntegerus Advisors, and many more. If you are looking for unmatched guidance, capital, insights or a great speaker or facilitator, Bryan and his partners are the go to resource for your organization. To learn more visit bryankorourke.com
  • The Fitness Industry Technology Council, your non-profit resource for reliable technology information supported by forward looking brands who are seeking to drive increased technology adoption in the fitness industry. Make a difference and join FIT-C at fittechcouncil.org today
  • Check out Bryan and his partner Robert Dyer's recent book "9 Partnership Principles: A Story of Life Lessons" which is available now on Amazon.com

Become A FIT-C Podcast Sponsor

Oct 17, 2017

As we fast-approach the one year anniversary next month for the fitness + technology podcast, today we're guided through some of 2017's most critical insights at the bleeding edge of trends and forecasts in our industry with the president of the Fitness Industry Technology Council, Bryan O'Rourke.

In this special 50th episode, we cover so much ground and discuss the pivotal fitness and wellness devices for the cloud so that our club operators, owners, and trainers can embrace the meaningful technologies and avoid falling behind the competition. We learn from Bryan about his take on the the way our 3 basic models in the commercial fitness space are being disrupted, how technology makes you the CEO of your own health, why more people die today from overeating than from famine, and the social and economic forces at play that have a direct impact on how all of us will do business in fitness in 2018 and beyond. 

If you've been listening to the show for a while and have received value from one or many of our expert guests, simply leave us a five star review for the podcast. Your voice helps the show reach more leaders and savvy fitness-tech minded professionals like you find the show, and gives our industry what it needs most right now: the credible, trustable, and tactical information to thrive in this digital era.

Over the past 50 shows, we've made a big focus on simplifying a sometimes cumbersome job of finding the reliable and detailed information about the trends occurring in the industry so your business can make informed technology decisions, and in this powerful conversation, we also uncover with Bryan how the rising level of consumer expectation will impact the need for club owners and operators to both embrace and implement the key technologies that will make a difference. 

With legacy technology systems in the United States driving risk aversion and slowing technology adoption in the fitness industry, what can we do as a fitness technology community to close the gap and serve more clients than ever before? 

The answer to that question and much more takeaways for club owners, operators, and fitness pros in this episode with Bryan O'Rourke.

About Bryan O'Rourke

Bryan O'Rourke is an experienced CEO, strategist, investor and advisor who helps organizations and professionals realize their full potential and solve their biggest challenges.

With a track record of building teams and growing global brands, his network of associates and partners have served organizations large and small. His present focus is on fitness, wellness, health clubs, technology, innovation, finance, marketing and business development, but his expertise and consultancy extends to a number of disciplines and industries. As an executive and owner in multiple companies he is also President of the non-profit Fitness Industry Technology Council, driving innovation and collaboration the fitness space.

He is considered a leading expert on technology, consumer and business trends and his views have been published in periodicals like the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Inc. Magazine, CBI and many others. IHRSA named him one of 13 to watch in 2013. Bryan has contributed to two significant books on Innovation in the fitness sector. He delivers engaging customized keynotes and strategic working sessions and is a highly sought after speaker and facilitator who has delivered his message at industry conferences and organizational events on four continents.

Listen To Episode 050 As Bryan & Josh Uncover

  • How technology makes you the CEOP of your own health
  • How to use the tools and resources from the Fitness + Technology show to accelerate your businesses and career
  • Bryan's favorite interviews and insights from the past 50+ episodes
  • Blending the human aspect with technology to create an all-inclusive health, wellness, and training experience
  • How to find reliable and detailed information about the trends occurring in the industry so that businesses can make informed technology decisions
  • The gap between what's happening in the marketplace and how business owners are choosing to operate
  • The large number of businesses that don't have a reliable resource or means to analyze the data they collect
  • Connecting the dots between credible data and creating long-term behaviors changes for club members
  • The growth and collaboration we see with medical components and our health and fitness routines
  • How the CTA and Wellness Subcommittee are creating important standardizations for tracking and using data
  • The technology that may lead to a "dream dashboard" that will include activity and biosignature data
  • Why the U.S. is lagging in technological adoption compared to many Asian countries and the protocols that might help close the gap
  • How Apple's iOS 11 updates will allow for a more seamless club ecosystem
  • The need for club owners to embrace current technologies so they don't fall behind the competition
  • How the Fitness Industry Technology Council is supporting and mentoring new businesses and entrepreneurs
  • The ways that machine learning and AI may affect the health and fitness industries
  • The 3 basic models we see in the commercial fitness space
    • Membership 
      • This model is about selling first and lacks a focus and emphasis on the health outcomes of members. 
    • Community/Entertainment
      • People connect to their communities in a socialization construct with exercise being the main component. We are seeing this become more present with obstacle course races such as Spartan and Tough Mudder, and engaging group fitness activities such as Zumba.
    • Outcomes
      • This is the smallest piece of what we see in today's marketplace, although Bryan feels it's where we will find the most growth in years to come. People are realizing that with the rising costs of health care and the wellness epidemics we are facing, there is a serious need for a more holistic, proactive, and results-focused approach from their trainers and facilities.

Top 3 Takeaways From The Show

  • As the speed of technology increases, it's more important than ever for club owners, operators, and fitness professionals to make it a priority and "bake" into their weekly calendar the job of seeking out reliable and detailed information about the trends affecting our industry. This habit will provide the ability to make informed technology decisions and ensure members and clients receive the user experience the market is demanding. The advancements in tech have created a seamless fitness experience at many leading facilities, and clubs that fail to stay on top of the current trends members want in today's marketplace will surely lead to falling behind the competition.
  • To succeed in this new era of the fitness industry, it's imperative that business models include an emphasis and focus on the health outcomes and results of their members - not just new business units. As our population is suffering from more disease and the rising cost of health care becomes unsustainable, people across our nation are now seeing that a proactive and results-oriented program is of extreme importance.
  • Bryan believes that in this age of over-information, it's imperative that we don't fall into paralysis by analysis and fail to implement new technology. We are reminded in a previous episode by Marty Weems from Team EXOS that we have to keep pushing forward in this regard.  With Bryan's leadership and through this show, you can trust that the Fitness + Technology podcast will continue to seek out the most trustable information you depend on as we move faster towards wellness, fitness, and betterment technologies that are changing the landscape of how you run your fitness business.

Power Quotes From Bryan

"From a recent survey, two-thirds of businesses use digital marketing platforms, and one-third of those companies admit they don't know how to use it."  - Bryan O'Rourke on the Fitness + Technology Podcast

"In today's modern world, fitness is evolving into the larger space of overall physical and mental betterment."  - Bryan O'Rourke on the Fitness + Technology Podcast

"The greatest products and services of our fitness space have not been created yet."  - Bryan O'Rourke on the Fitness + Technology Podcast

"Being proactive as the CEO of your own health is really important to both the quality of anyone's life in the long run and in the cost of maintaining your quality of life in a sustainable way. That dynamic is not going to go away, in fact it's going to become even more pronounced."  - Bryan O'Rourke on the Fitness + Technology Podcast

Resources Mentioned From Bryan

Thanks To Our Outstanding Sponsors

  • Bryan O’Rourke and his family of companies including Vedere VenturesIntegerus Advisors, and many more. If you are looking for unmatched guidance, capital, insights or a great speaker or facilitator, Bryan and his partners are the go to resource for your organization. To learn more visit bryankorourke.com
  • The Fitness Industry Technology Council, your non-profit resource for reliable technology information supported by forward looking brands who are seeking to drive increased technology adoption in the fitness industry. Make a difference and join FIT-C at fittechcouncil.org today
  • Check out Bryan and his partner Robert Dyer's recent book "9 Partnership Principles: A Story of Life Lessons" which is available now on Amazon.com

Become A FIT-C Podcast Sponsor

Oct 10, 2017

We're exploring fitness devices, data, and ecosystems that matter with the CEO of Michael Wood Fitness and the CFO of Koko FitClub, Michael Wood. In this podcast, Michael uncovers what he believes is the recipe for success in merging the digital experience with in-person training.

Michael is widely recognized as one the nation’s top strength & conditioning experts. Through his leadership, Koko FitClub started as a integrated software company back in 2005. Not long after, they developed a strength training product with the goal of creating a unique turn-key coaching facility where the need for on-site trainers was to be obsolete. They saw moderate success with this new style of automated coaching, and soon realized that a critical component was missing: 

Human connection.

When Koko FitClub realized their digital experience needed to be upleveled to provide their members with both the technology and human connection they were looking for, they innovated a unique way to blend their tech with traditional training and semi-private exercise classes. From these pivotal changes, the members had a one-of-a-kind experience of tracking, coaching, and programming that provided a new and exciting way of working out. 

Listen in as Michael also speaks to technology and its role in taking a proactive and holistic approach to our wellness and shares the essential nutrition and mindfulness apps that support monitoring to make lasting changes in health behaviors.

This all-encompassing wellness approach that Koko delivers, inside and outside of the club, shows the true value of providing members with a unique blend of digital coaching, in-person training, and the online tools and resources to transform their nutrition and mindset.

But with the almost endless ocean of new technology, apps, devices, and platforms emerging in fitness and wellness, what are the integral parts of the optimal ecosystem in 2018?

The answer to that question and much more takeaways for club owners, operators, and fitness pros in this episode with Michael.

About Michael Wood

Michael Wood, CSCS, is widely recognized as one the nation’s top strength & conditioning experts. He serves as CEO of Michael Wood Fitness, formerly the Sports Performance Group, founded in 1988. The award-winning fitness-consulting company calls some of the biggest names in the athletic, academic, and entertainment industries their clients. The company has completed more than 35,000 training sessions to date under Michael’s guidance. Michael is also the Chief Fitness Officer at Koko FitClub, LLC, which develops interactive software and hardware for the $60B worldwide fitness and wellness industry. Koko FitClub is a national franchise with currently more than 100 locations throughout the United States and Canada.

Michael’s honors have included receiving the coveted Boston Magazine “Best of Boston” award and in both 2004 and 2005 Men’s Journal named Wood one of the top 100 trainers in the United States. In the December 2004 issue, the magazine also included Michael on their trainer “Dream Team,” comprised of the nine best trainers in the U.S. He is also a member of the Fitness Industry Technology Council and works with clients via the Wellness Roundtable. He is also a former member of Power Bar Team Elite. Michael has also raised money for two scholarship funds when he reached the summit of Africa’s highest peak, Mt. Kilimanjaro (19,340′), in 2008 with Thompson Safaris.

His professional experience includes director of business development and business director at two Velocity Sports Performance franchise locations, and director of strength and conditioning at New England Sports Academy. In addition, he had the great fortune of working as assistant strength and conditioning coach at the University of Connecticut and senior exercise physiologist at the Nutrition, Exercise Physiology and Sarcopenia Laboratory at the USDA-HNRC on Aging at Tufts University. Michael has also consulted for Sage Strategies, LLC, a premier management consulting firm specializing in the health and fitness, as their corporate fitness expert.

Listen To Episode 049 As Michael Uncovers

  • Why the fitness industry has seen the numbers of tech devices rapidly increase and how this affects our space
  • How the integration of digital coaching and in-person training provide a unique gym experience at Koko Fitclub
  • Why he founded Michael Wood fitness, LLC to address the unique demands of the fitness industry
  • The mission, vision, and change he is creating with Michael Wood Fitness
  • Michael's proven insights from nearly 30 years at the forefront of fitness and wellness technology
  • Why human connection was a critical component in the success of Koko's automated member tech
  • Koko's Smart Trainer technology that demonstrates various exercises and 30 minute workouts from celebrity trainers
  • The "personal USB stick" that allows every member to track data from their workouts
  • Why trainers are a necessity on location to assist members with the digital aspects of the club
  • Koko's principles of success that ensure they stay above the national average for weekly visits
  • The functional training classes that are attracting the younger clientele
  • Why Michael believes integrating fitness and lifestyle data into our programs will drive proactive health 
  • Understanding the "betterment" technology sector what this means to our fitness space
  • Using nutrition tracking to produce a sustainable behavior change
  • The top nutrition apps that are helping us to eat better, lose weight, and get healthy
  • Koko's online nutrition program and tools that provide a holistic wellness experience
  • Why Fitbit and Dexcom are partnering to produce continuous glucose monitors 
  • Using biomarkers and genetic testing to get a deeper picture of our health
  • Delivering the personal attention that brings out the best in member experience  
  • Koko's 3 pillars of individualized coaching:
    • Foundation
      • How Koko FitClub coaches works closely with members to set goals and outline a realistic plan to get there. They re-establish your body’s natural movement patterns and work to build a foundation of fitness in just a few weeks. This is where you’ll build a workout habit that “sticks”.
    • Concentration
      • To concentrate on goals, instructors safely increase the intensity of the coached workouts, including total-body strength and cardio conditioning. A personalized nutrition plan will help improve energy and fuel greater results from the workout.
    • Transformation
      • Reshape the body from the inside out with a sustainable, coached training program designed to burn fat and build lean muscle for life. With just 2-3 sessions a week on average, members feel stronger and leaner with more energy to take on new challenges.

Top 3 Takeaways From The Show

  • Michael reminds us of the incredible potential of fitness technology when combined with dedicated coaching and human connection. In an era of exponential technology growth, what is most important to fitness professionals and operators is to understand their unique and signature type of service that utilizes the best-of-the-best in the tech but also formulates a trusted bridge from a member to a dedicated coach.
  • Michael shared that Koko's digital coaching model didn't actually find true success until the physical coach was inside the gym. Whether it's for personal training or facilitating the integration of Koko's technology, the human connection aspect is a highly critical piece of their success. 
  • It's important to remember that fitness begins from the inside out. While of course exercise is an essential piece to any wellness routine, Michael believes we must now pivot in the fitness industry towards a comprehensive wellness approach with a key focus of mindfulness. He recommends apps like Sugar Rush to help regulate our intake and glucose levels, and Inside Tracker to get a better understanding of our biomarkers. But regardless of whatever device or application used it's the true integration of personality, technology, and human connection that will drive a successful ecosystem.

Power Quotes From Michael Wood

"In addition to our digital coaching, the in-person trainer is key for helping members learn our technology and get results in a safe, quick, and effective manner."  - Michael Wood on the Fitness + Technology Podcast

"Once we were able to pair our digital experience with a good knowledgeable coach, Koko's success was taken to a new level." - Michael Wood on the Fitness + Technology Podcast

"The best exercise program in the world isn't going to change someone if you can't adjust their mindset and behavior."  - Michael Wood on the Fitness + Technology Podcast

Resources Mentioned From Michael

Thanks To Our Outstanding Sponsors

  • Bryan O’Rourke and his family of companies including Vedere VenturesIntegerus Advisors, and many more. If you are looking for unmatched guidance, capital, insights or a great speaker or facilitator, Bryan and his partners are the go to resource for your organization. To learn more visit bryankorourke.com
  • The Fitness Industry Technology Council, your non-profit resource for reliable technology information supported by forward looking brands who are seeking to drive increased technology adoption in the fitness industry. Make a difference and join FIT-C at fittechcouncil.org today
  • Check out Bryan and his partner Robert Dyer's recent book "9 Partnership Principles: A Story of Life Lessons" which is available now on Amazon.com

Become A FIT-C Podcast Sponsor

Oct 3, 2017

On this podcast we explore the deeper impact of the 2017 fitness industry technology trends and beyond in this era of exponential growth with the President of the Fitness Industry Technology Council, Bryan O’Rourke, for a special featured podcast from the FIT-C webinar recorded LIVE just days ago.

With technology becoming not just a thing we use, but something we will become with no boundaries, Bryan reminds us that if we can think it, it can be. Yet even with all the technology that is creating more opportunity in and out of the fitness space than ever before, we also must understand the unforeseen consequences that tech is producing and how we can adapt to transcend the negativity around those changes. 

You’ll learn why Bryan believes we are in the "knee of the curve" when it comes to rapid adoption and creation of new exponential tech, how this relates to the 4 key driver dynamics of why technology must serve specific purposes for business including omnipresence, personalized service, sustainability, and aesthetic UX design.

Bryan also uncovers how Amazon is using data points, cognition, algorithms, and how this effects a new paradigm of value creation when look at our older paradigms that were less data centric.

From AI coaching, Habit DNA based customized eating plans, ELF mindfulness tech, AI Therapy, Augmented reality and so much more, Bryan spotlights how the fitness industry can leverage these new technologies to deliver higher value business models that support growing our industry, and why he believes we will shift away from the negative consequences of technology to ubiquitous delivery that makes tech more like the air we breathe, more powerful, and more able to impact our fitness business than ever before. 

About Bryan O'Rourke

Bryan O'Rourke is an experienced CEO, strategist, investor and advisor who helps organizations and professionals realize their full potential and solve their biggest challenges.

With a track record of building teams and growing global brands, his network of associates and partners have served organizations large and small. His present focus is on fitness, wellness, health clubs, technology, innovation, finance, marketing and business development, but his expertise and consultancy extends to a number of disciplines and industries. As an executive and owner in multiple companies he is also President of the non-profit Fitness Industry Technology Council, driving innovation and collaboration the fitness space.

He is considered a leading expert on technology, consumer and business trends and his views have been published in periodicals like the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Inc. Magazine, CBI and many others. IHRSA named him one of 13 to watch in 2013. Bryan has contributed to two significant books on Innovation in the fitness sector. He delivers engaging customized keynotes and strategic working sessions and is a highly sought after speaker and facilitator who has delivered his message at industry conferences and organizational events on four continents.

Listen To Episode 048 As Bryan Uncovers

  • The unintended consequences that arise from technology 
  • Putting technology into historical context
  • Why we are close to the exponential curve of technology adoption exploding at a rapid pace
  • The importance of technology being able to serve people wherever and whenever they choose
  • Technology's impact & the Old Paradigm vs. the New Paradigm of Value Creation for organizations: 
    • Data points and information
    • Cognition and learning
    • Dollars and transactions
    • Users
  • How the new age of products and services are more interrelated than ever before 
  • How businesses are using data collection to increase revenue and improve the user experience
  • Exploring the 4 Quadrants of user model context:
    •  Omnipresence
    •  Personalized service
    •  Aesthetic UX design
    •  Sustainability
  • Technological improvements in the world of nutrition
  • Using biofeedback and measuring activity in the brain to help you create a desired state of mind
  • The increasing functionality of sensors being built into phones
  • How AI is affecting the fitness space
  • The augmented reality that's been built in the iPhone 8 
  • The technology that is detecting medical conditions before they become problemtatic

Top 3 Takeaways From The Show

  • Bryan believes that developing Omnipresence will be the key to our success in the digital world. Whatever we do as an industry should have a physical, digital, and hybrid version. To truly lead in the era of exponential technology our products and services need to be available wherever and whenever our customers and communities choose to participate.
  • When it comes to services, Bryan's guidance and research shows that technology must be extremely relevant, contextualized, and personalized to the user. The more personalized it is, the more valuable it is.
  • It's critical to keep the user experience in mind, especially in such a high touch and intimate setting like the fitness space. The user experience must be beautiful, simplistic, and frictionless. When we look through the lens of technology, we must see it as a tool to apply the four key drivers for all organizations including omnipresence, personalized service delivery wherever and whenever, aesthetic UX design with frictionless use, and lastly sustainability. Bryan reminds us we are at the precipice of a mass adoption at the "knee of the curve" and now is the time to explore how this will transform all the operations both inside and outside of your fitness business.

Power Quotes From Bryan

"We're moving to an evolution of technology being ubiquitous to the point that it's like the air we breathe." - Bryan O'Rourke on the Fitness + Technology Podcast

"Mindfulness is a rapidly growing area and a counterbalance to how technology has overtaken many of our lives"   - Bryan O'Rourke on the Fitness + Technology Podcast

"Many of the service personnel will soon be robotic. This technology is already here and will become mainstream in the next 5-10 years."  Bryan O'Rourke on the Fitness + Technology Podcast

Resources Mentioned From Bryan

Bryan O’Rourke and his family of companies including Vedere VenturesIntegerus Advisors, and many more. If you are looking for unmatched guidance, capital, insights or a great speaker or facilitator, Bryan and his partners are the go to resource for your organization. To learn more visit bryankorourke.com

  • The Fitness Industry Technology Council, your non-profit resource for reliable technology information supported by forward looking brands who are seeking to drive increased technology adoption in the fitness industry. Make a difference and join FIT-C at fittechcouncil.org today

  • Check out Bryan and his partner Robert Dyer's recent book "9 Partnership Principles: A Story of Life Lessons" which is available now on Amazon.com

Become A FIT-C Podcast Sponsor

Sep 26, 2017

With the recent update for Apple's iOS 11, today on the podcast we're learning about what this means to the fitness industry from the Chief Information Officer & Vice President of Good Life Fitness, Steve Groves. If you're like most of us in the fitness space, you've been hearing rumors for months about how Apple has been gearing up to change the landscape of how we do business, take payments, collect activity data and engage our members using GymKit and opening up the bidirectional NFC reading capabilities, along with so much more.

On episode 047, we're exploring this pivotal subject in depth to uncover the real truth behind how club staff, front desk, trainers, and everyone that compliments a member's journey will now shortly be able to serve at a higher level, and save the member valuable time by using this bidirectional NFC for the creation of a truly "seamless experience" that so many in our industry have been asking for.  

This iOS update points the needle of progress in the right direction and opens up a future where using the iPhone to gain access to a club and all of its amenities with a simple fingerprint touch through the mobile device, is a reality.

Apple's NFC functions coming to the Apple Watch with watchOS 4, and iOS 11 might also be handling much more than just Apple Pay transactions and Passbook check-ins.

With over 2700 fitness technology companies listed on Angel List, and with the pivotal new updates for iOS 11, how do we get closer to clarity in a fast-expanding space? 

The answer to that question and much more takeaways for club owners, operators, and fitness pros in this episode with Steve Groves.

About Steve Groves

Steve Groves is the CIO & VP at Goodlife Fitness with over 20 years of success in bridging the logistical and communication gaps between business leaders and their technical teams in order to achieve results. Steve is a industry pro who specializes in collaborating with senior management and company boards to drive the strategic use of technology, both to support employees and to delight customers. Steve is an expert in uncovering "the art of the possible" in terms of using digital technology to personalize the customer experience. He is a creative thinker with an eye towards the technology trends on the horizon and has extensive experience in ICT service management, Internet strategy, digital media strategy, mobile application design, productivity consulting and management of high performance teams.

Listen To Episode 047 As Steve Uncovers

  • How to bridge the logistical and communication gaps between business leaders and their technical teams
  • How we can drive the strategic use of tech to support employees and delight customers
  • Ways digital technology is helping us personalize the customer experience
  • How apple and IOS 11 are affecting the fitness industry
  • Steve’s journey of rising to CIO of Good Life Fitness
  • The beginning stages of the World Wide Web
  • Enhancements in communication between workout equipment and the Apple Health Application
  • How AI is impacting the fitness space
  • Smart Activity Coaching with the Apple Watch
  • What we can learn from adjacent industries such as hospitality and retail
  • How tracking may revolutionize personal training
  • How Bi-directional NFC will create a more seamless user experience
  • How Apple and Samsung are mimicking the capabilities of RFID chips within their phones
  • Why a large portion of club operators are slow to adopt new technologies
  • The need to fail fast and quickly abort projects that aren’t working

Top 3 Takeaways From The Show

  • Club owners and operators are at the beginning of an exponential increase in data communication with cardio equipment, the Apple Watch, and Apple’s Health App as the connectivity of wearables and other fitness and wellness technology open up new API's and data silos beyond the 4 walls of the club. 
  • When it comes to game-changing advancements in the fitness technology space, it's important to keep a close watch on what Apple is up to in the next 6 months. The new iOS 11 updates are driving more precision accuracy standards to be established for wearables including heart rate information, treadmill speeds, and other activity data sets that will be fed into Apple's HealthKit and used by tech-savvy fitness organizations. 
  • It’s important for all of us in the industry to remain curious regarding the future of technology so we can make the appropriate decisions from a budgeting and directional standpoint. However, Steve reminds us that trying to look too far out over the horizon is irrelevant, as the advancements in AI, robotics, and image technologies make it virtually impossible to predict how tech will transform the world in 10+ years. One thing is for sure, if there is change happening at the intersection of fitness and technology, by listening to this show you'll be connected to the pulse of what matters most for your fitness business.

Power Quotes From Steve

"I think for many of us, the holy grail of monitoring our health will be automatic tracking of what we ingest." - Steve Groves on the Fitness + Technology Podcast

"If I could take everything that I’ve learned over the past 5 years and apply it to one roll in our company, it would be personal training.Steve Groves on the Fitness + Technology Podcast

What many of us in the technology space are trying to do is eliminate friction from various transactions that happen within our clubs." Steve Groves on the Fitness + Technology Podcast

Experimentation comes with failure.  For whatever reason, I don’t think the culture of our industry is able to tolerate that very well.  I’m hoping we start to see more companies that are willing to experiment with different technologies.  Even when they fully know certain tech won’t work properly or be adopted by their members." Steve Groves on the Fitness + Technology Podcast

"We have to recognize when something isn’t working, and be willing to kill a failed project within 30-60 days at the most." Steve Groves on the Fitness + Technology Podcast

Members look to us as fitness and wellness experts. We can’t only focus on the 2-3 hours a week they are using the facility. Organizations need to to think about the time their members spend outside of the gym." - Steve Groves on the Fitness + Technology Podcast

Resources Mentioned From Steve

Thanks To Our Outstanding Sponsors

  • Bryan O’Rourke and his family of companies including Vedere VenturesIntegerus Advisors, and many more. If you are looking for unmatched guidance, capital, insights or a great speaker or facilitator, Bryan and his partners are the go to resource for your organization. To learn more visit bryankorourke.com
  • The Fitness Industry Technology Council, your non-profit resource for reliable technology information supported by forward looking brands who are seeking to drive increased technology adoption in the fitness industry. Make a difference and join FIT-C at fittechcouncil.org today
  • Check out Bryan and his partner Robert Dyer's recent book "9 Partnership Principles: A Story of Life Lessons" which is available now on Amazon.com

Become A FIT-C Podcast Sponsor

Sep 19, 2017

Today we're learning from Leon Rudge, the Director of Digital Experience at Life Fitness on the 10 steps to implementing a digital fitness strategy. We've had double digits of expert guests provide so much value over the past 40+ shows in this category of digital strategy and tools, but on today's show we're going laser and concise to extract the 10 powerful steps that club owners, operators, and trainers can build from the ground up when they look at the actual technologies in our space that will support growing both the bottom line and the customer journey and experience for members.

Be sure to explore all the different resources and white paper links from Leon in the podcast today and if you've been enjoying the series, leave us a five star review for the podcast; it helps the show reach more intelligent and proactive fitness leaders like you. You can also ask myself, Bryan O'Rourke, Leon, or any of the previous guests who've been on the show a question by simply typing in your question in the review box.

In an industry that seems to be fairly static, and at times even paralyzed by the over information about fitness technology, what are the practical and on-the-ground steps that fitness leadership can take to successfully implement a digital fitness strategy?

The answer to that question and much more takeaways for club owners, operators, and fitness pros in this episode with Leon Rudge.

About Leon Rudge

Leon Rudge is the Director of Digital Experience at Life Fitness. He is part of a global team of digital technology experts who work hard every day to understand how they can bring more clarity, insight and experience to the fitness industry, their customers and their exercisers. Leon Brings over seven years of deep experience in the fitness industry.

Listen To Episode 046 As Leon Uncovers

  • Why leon believes there is so much confusion about digital technology from vendors and operators
  • The 10 Steps To Implementing A Digital Fitness Strategy
    • 1. Raise Awareness
    • 2. Create Your Digital Team
    • 3. Asset Discovery
    • 4. Member Centricity
    • 5. Destroy Your Own Business
    • 6. Create Your Vision
    • 7. Create Your Strategy
    • 8. Create Your Digital Core
    • 9. Communicate the Vision
    • 10. Do It Again
  • How Leon grew his skills in digital marketing and what that gave him to now serve the fitness industry 
  • Why Leon believes the fitness industry has become "too static"
  • Why Leon sees it's most important in the age of technology to fail fast, learn fast and fix fast as you move forward
  • The value of autonomy and giving yoursefl the permission to fail when it comes to driving tech solutions 
  • How to identify the "quick wins early" in in asset dicovery 
  • Why the new entrants listen firstand build second 
  • Why the fitness indsurty has been slow to the omnichannel aspect for retargeting ads across social and Google  
  • Understadbning Leon's term "Thinking Like An Exerciser" 
  • Deliniating the custmer journey vs. the customer experience 
  • The paradigm of owning vs. sharing the value in digital fitness  

Top 3 Takeaways From The Show

  • Leon shares that digital is a massive revenue generating category but it's important not to get too hung up on this fact in the early months of your journey. You’ll need to learn before you can earn. If you put earning first, you will blind yourself to the fact that you're actually just trying to understand how to fundamentally change the way you interact with your members, and they interact with your business. You’ll figure the revenue models out soon enough after you've done the deeper work and the ten steps towards implementing a digital fitness strategy.
  • In terms of digital health and fitness, Leon sees a confused industry but even worse, he sees a number of companies capitalizing on the confusion. This compounded confusion he sees slowing the adoption of digital tech our space and leaving us vulnerable to disruptive new market entrants. What we must do as an industry is seek clarity about what technologies will serve why we do and how we want to do it. Getting clear on the customer journey and experience before ever selecting a piece of technology will help operators and owners transcend this confusion.
  • When it comes to creating a successful and sustainable digital fitness strategy in the club, knowing more about your digital self than you ever have before is an important context. Operators and trainers must to create a culture of being able to fail fast, learn fast, and fix fast to innovate and thrive in the digital world. It's important to remember that it's okay to fail in the digital world, but  you've just got to fail quickly. I always encourage operators owners and trainers to start small, then test, measure, and learn to iterate fast.

Power Quotes From Leon

"We've got some great minds in this business, dedicated people that have worked in the industry for decades, but the members are changing, societies changing, everything's changing and some of the things that we put in place aren't necessarily always going to be right."   - Leon Rudge on the Fitness + Technology Podcast

"In terms of digital health and fitness, I see a confused industry but even worse, I see a number of companies capitalizing on the confusion. The compounded confusion is slowing the adoption of digital tech our space and leaving us vulnerable to disruptive new market entrants."  - Leon Rudge on the Fitness + Technology Podcast

Resources Mentioned From Leon

Thanks To Our Outstanding Sponsors

  • Bryan O’Rourke and his family of companies including Vedere VenturesIntegerus Advisors, and many more. If you are looking for unmatched guidance, capital, insights or a great speaker or facilitator, Bryan and his partners are the go to resource for your organization. To learn more visit bryankorourke.com
  • The Fitness Industry Technology Council, your non-profit resource for reliable technology information supported by forward looking brands who are seeking to drive increased technology adoption in the fitness industry. Make a difference and join FIT-C at fittechcouncil.org today
  • Check out Bryan and his partner Robert Dyer's recent book "9 Partnership Principles: A Story of Life Lessons" which is available now on Amazon.com

Become A FIT-C Podcast Sponsor

Sep 12, 2017

With the fitness industry poised to further expand its impact and transformation within the wellness industry space, we're growing smarter today from one of the world's most influential minds in the active healthy lifestyle sector, Lee Embley, to discuss the best-of-the-best takeaways from his 40+ years around technology innovation and digital trends.

With his impressive body of work, he is now leading a mission to connect the role of fitness to an even larger ecosystem of wellness, driven by artificial intelligence and big data sets through his up and coming platform Optimal AI Coach.

We know now more than ever that fitness has been and will always be a powerful and integral piece in what is at the core of all club member's goals, which is to be healthy and well in their body, mind, and spirit, so on this podcast we're excited to unpack the nuances of what Lee believes is the "biggest miss" right now in the fitness industry, how human longevity plugs into our standard fitness models, why the ultimate value proposition for wearable technology is wellness and not just fitness, and how Lee's own health journey has inspired him to radically shift his focus in the coming years.

With fitness industry experiencing the most radical transformation in decades, what are the most powerfully distilled concepts that club owners, operators, and fitness professionals must understand when it comes to fitness and wellness technology? 

The answer to that question and much more takeaways for club owners, operators, and fitness pros in this episode with Lee Embley.

About Lee Embley 

Over the past three decades Lee Embley has been innovating and influencing the bleeding edge in the Active Healthy Lifestyle Sector, building brands in retail, connected-tech, digital-media, and financial-services, including the following:

ProWoman Sports USA first all women sporting goods retail brand, merchandising functional design, fashion and leisure wear, early footwear product development with ProWoman Strider the first women lasted track and field running shoe, equipment to the fit-active female market. PWS became the first national sales organization to secure a exclusive distribution with hundreds of colleges and universities with female specific sports programs. Acquired, Tennis Lady Group UK. 

Lee also developed the First e-Commerce business model "Network Credit Service,"providing credit reports to small business via, major information hubs i.e. CompuServ, Dow Jones Newsnet. NCS provided 500,000 businesses via trade associations and national franchises system achieving a $53MM in second year revenue. (Acquired by TRW New Credit Service)

Mr. Embley founded the NCSB, the first sports, performance, data and evaluation platform. An athletic scouting and evaluation system to enable high school athletes who are not recruited a system to evaluate their athletic skills by professional scouts. Acquired, Pro-Serve, as well as "Radiance Rewards," the first AHL credit cards for health fitness conscious women.

His work continued with Leap4Life the first "Wearable Marketplace" designed for the health and fitness consumers to fully experience the motivation of active lifestyle. L4L hacked and mitigated the sustained engagement factor with a unique combination of attributes. The methodology and technology applied data science and social to achieve success.

His latest body of work is the "Optimal AI Coach: O.AI.C" an application to enhance fitness and performance through deep learning and integration of lifestyle data via technology. All the data collections are in place, wearable, mobile, retail to create the next generation highly personalized coaching system.

Listen To Episode 045 As Lee Uncovers

  • Why Lee's "S.T.E.E.P. model" is still viable today as the pressures on the human condition are quite profound
  • How Lee constructed his business strategies based on this analytical model he adopted while at McKinsey
  • How understanding the S.T.E.E.P. analysis will define a way to determine shifts triggered by seminal events in Social, Technological, Economic, Ecological, and Political segments. 
  • How these five pillars are cornerstones of every civilization and how technology can support
  • Unpacking what Lee sees as the "Fatal Flaw" in fitness: A lack of sustained engagement for clubs 
  • The impact of wearables vs. the impact of active healthy lifestyle data: what happens with the new era of AI and how it will change operators everyday tasks
  • Exploring pattern recognition via wearables
  • Microdata vs. Macrodata: Understanding the data sets of the human ecosystem 
  • Exploring the trends in women's fitness "from beauty to strength" transition 
  • The "Big Miss" and why using relevant data sets in fitness is ripe for disruption
  • Challenging the paradigm of seeing technology as a threat to the 4 walls to monetizing member's outside of them 
  • Plugging in human longevity to the standard fitness model through intrinsic motivation 
  • The Optimal AI Coach: Lee's bleeding edge technology platform that will use accelerated data sets to help shift fitness into wellness
  • Understanding "Game Theory" models when contrasted with Self Determination Theory 
  • Why the ultimate value proposition for wearables will be wellness from the data not just fitness 
  • How Lee's battle with Stage 4 Cancer has inspired the emotional, physoical, 

Top 3 Takeaways From The Show

  • Lee reminds us that the need for speed creates new value. “Things” only have value when they are put in motion. Anything standing still is valueless, be it money, inventory, information, an empty hotel room, data, machinery, technology, people.
  • Early warning systems are designed to foretell of impending disaster. Those in any industry who ignore the warnings will eventually fail, as seen with the assault on the retail sector which is not a surprise. Lee’s strategy is to identify weakness or obsolesce within a sector under siege and define alternative strategies. Always focused on the evolution of the consumer of the product or service enables Lee or any savvy professional to spot an early trend before it grows into a recognizable market.
  • With a large focus on collecting data, Lee believes that it's the use of pattern recognition via artificial intelligence that will truly guide the transformation in our fitness industry to serve an even larger ecosystem of wellness. When we look at the wearable tech component, this is the area that is most ripe for disruption. Lee believes that the active lifestyle persona must be taken into consideration including their body, mind, and spiritual capacities in order for technology to serve their deepest needs. With the exponential growth in wearable technology's ability to support these three capacities the future of fitness and wellness technology is both inspiring and promising.

Power Quotes From Lee

"When it comes to connecting the dots of success for technology, it's distilled down to one term and that is relevance. If there's not relevance, then at the end of the day then there's no sustainability. The real issue is properly determining where each generational segment is focused on the spectrum of the active healthy lifestyle" - Lee Embley on the Fitness + Technology Podcast

"Anything standing still is valueless. It doesn't matter whether it's people standing still, money standing still, information standing still. The only way it gets value is when you put it in motion. The reason there are thousands of brands in the graveyard is because they could not accept the fact that the change was upon them."  - Lee Embley on the Fitness + Technology Podcast

"You have to start with the question 'where am I and my capital at risk?' and then get into some significant valuation. Forecasting the economy does not necessarily mean that your segment of the economy is going to be disrupted."  - Lee Embley on the Fitness + Technology Podcast

Resources Mentioned From Lee

Thanks To Our Outstanding Sponsors

  • Bryan O’Rourke and his family of companies including Vedere VenturesIntegerus Advisors, and many more. If you are looking for unmatched guidance, capital, insights or a great speaker or facilitator, Bryan and his partners are the go to resource for your organization. To learn more visit bryankorourke.com
  • The Fitness Industry Technology Council, your non-profit resource for reliable technology information supported by forward looking brands who are seeking to drive increased technology adoption in the fitness industry. Make a difference and join FIT-C at fittechcouncil.org today
  • Check out Bryan and his partner Robert Dyer's recent book "9 Partnership Principles: A Story of Life Lessons" which is available now on Amazon.com

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Sep 5, 2017

For episode 044 we're excited to bring you one of the most sought after leaders in our space for an important discussion around data collection accuracy and its relationship to the growing demand for AI and machine learning in the fitness industry.

We're talking with our returning guest, Dave Wright, the CEO of MYZONE for his second appearance on the show to explore the impact of collecting fitness data for practical use, the difference between incidental versus concerted activity when we look at fitness consumer activity,  where the gaps are in adoption and how our industry can rise to the demand for true omnipresence.

We're also uncovering how MYZONE is proactively educating fitness professionals and leaders on how to take in the right data set, understand it, and use technology to support executing a sustainable health and fitness experience for the new era of our consumers.

With more data sets being delivered than ever before, what are the most important ones and what do fitness leaders, trainers, and operators really get to pay attention to not only for ROI, but to deliver an enhanced customer experience?

The answer to that question and many more takeaways for club operators, owners, and fitness professionals in this episode with Dave Wright.

About Dave Wright 

Dave Wright is the CEO & owner of Creative Fitness Marketing, a global company with offices in the UK, Australia and North America that has served the international fitness community since 1990, specifically helping people be more and stay more physically active. 

He is also the CEO and creator of MYZONE® - a cloud based and wearable technology "Physical Activity Heart Rate Monitor & Fitness Tracker," used to monitor and increase exercise adherence.  As a health club operator with 10 health clubs, and a board director of the UK’s Fitness Industry Association, an international presenter, Dave is featured regularly in international trade magazines.

Listen To Episode 044 As Dave Uncovers

  • Why Dave believes that the wearable accuracy still has room to improve in order to achieve comprehensive functionality through "trustable" accuracy
  • Incidental vs. concerted activity: Exploring the different segments of fitness consumer's movement activity 
  • Understanding the 8 aspects of MYZONE's success for club owners and operators: 
    • Products
    • User communication
    • Group display
    • Intuitive reporting
    • Effort points (MEPs) 
    • Operator resources
    • Best practices
    • User interface
  • Why time sedentary vs. active is one of the top three activity metrics any club owner or operator should be tracking
  • The true standards of what really measures physical activity via World Health Organization
  • Why Dave believes that the future of fitness technology will align with health insurance industry 
  • Exercise adherence: what tech-based programs will deliver in 2018  
  • Artificial Intelligence + Machine Learning: how MYZONE is taking a deeper look into utilizing these technologies to serve the fitness industry
  • New developments around wearable tech in our industry
  • Education for fitness professionals: MYZONE's educational curriculum in fitness and technology
  • Virtual coaching & biometrics remotely monitored by a coaches: how dave sees biometric data being used specifically around coaching 
  • How MYZONE has integrated Facebook to the customer journey
  • Identifying the gaps for improvement and opportunity in regards to fitness data collection
  • What data collection methods will be of most service to both the end-user and the coach or fitness professional
  • Commonality of technology requests in regards to functionality they are looking for
  • What is the deeper technology functionality that will benefit club owners and fitness pros in 2018

Top 3 Takeaways From The Show

  • As operators and owners begin to use wearables and data sets more and more via incidental and concerted activity from their fitness consumers, Dave believes the most important thing is attaining trustable data. Your database in order for artificial intelligence or machine learning to be leveraged powerfully must be cleaned and trustable. Once these data sets are verified as being "clean" then you can start plugging in long-term behavior change strategies for the customer's journey.
  • For savvy club owners and operators, as well as tech-minded fitness professionals, gathering all the right information about fitness and technology can be challenging at times. In addition to the Fitness + Technology Podcast, Dave suggests partitioning time for dedicated research around fitness tech trends by simply going to the Kickstarter website where you will see the intentions and possibilities around fitness tech in our space. Now is the time to set aside calendar blocks for this research, as staying on top of tech trends will help drive fitness facility and career success as AI and machine learning useage exponentially grow.
  • With the rise of demand from all customer segments who want that seamless omnipresence from clubs both at home and inside the 4 walls, Dave sees that we are extremely behind the curve as an industry. He spoke to us about the "frictionless experience," otherwise known as the use of automatic triggers combined with machine learning and AI technology that will deliver seamless interactions required between the customer's exercise, activity, and lifestyle data sets that will change the way we do fitness, forever. 

Power Quotes From Dave

"Meeting the customer where they are is the most important thing in the age of technology. As an industry, currently one defendable position we have is not our bricks and mortar, it's our knowledge and our motivational skills including the ability for the trainer to spot, help, and support their customers personally."  - Dave Wright on the Fitness + Technology Podcast

"If the data is not accurate then it's very hard to apply any form of machine learning. As operators and owners you might have various records on your database, but if that database is not cleaned and checked to make sure you can run credible data off the backend (with the same applying for any data from biometrics) then you can't yet start looking at behavior trends. Yet, that's the most exciting part of it, where we can start to spark really powerful change with the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning." - Dave Wright on the Fitness + Technology Podcast

"What are the limitations and why is it, as an industry, that for the best part of 50 years that 50% of all the people that join clubs now in January actually leave by November, or even stop exercising for April and May? It fascinates me as a business that it costs seven times more money to get a new member to your club then to keep an existing one, yet so much of the membership campaigns in health clubs around the world are just focused on filling the top end of the bucket, rather than asking how can we stop the flow of members out the back door." - Dave Wright on the Fitness + Technology Podcast #015

Resources Mentioned From Dave

Thanks To Our Outstanding Sponsors

  • Bryan O’Rourke and his family of companies including Vedere VenturesIntegerus Advisors, and many more. If you are looking for unmatched guidance, capital, insights or a great speaker or facilitator, Bryan and his partners are the go to resource for your organization. To learn more visit bryankorourke.com
  • The Fitness Industry Technology Council, your non-profit resource for reliable technology information supported by forward looking brands who are seeking to drive increased technology adoption in the fitness industry. Make a difference and join FIT-C at fittechcouncil.org today
  • Check out Bryan and his partner Robert Dyer's recent book "9 Partnership Principles: A Story of Life Lessons" which is available now on Amazon.com

Become A FIT-C Podcast Sponsor

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