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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. Each week, we 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 Vedere Ventures, a boutique investment and advisory firm helping early mature and late stage enterprises succeed in a new era. Hosted by wellness influencer and founder of Wellness Force, Josh Trent.
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Dec 27, 2016

Paul Lockington is a business development adviser to a select group of growing companies in the Sporting Goods and Fitness Industries. From over 35 years of experience, Paul has extensive hands-on technical knowledge of human locomotion and its effects on the human condition. 

With an academic background in Exercise Physiology and coaching qualifications with the NSCA, Paul understands the complexity of connectivity as well as the business philosophies and customer needs in both the fitness and wellness worlds. His broad network of contacts provides him with a unique perspective into the problems of his clients and how to solve them.

Listen To Episode 006 As Paul Uncovers

  • How can operators, owners, and smart trainers capitalize on new technology with a new mindset
  • How to use near field technology on member key fobs to save cost on heating and power in clubs
  • How sensor technology can be used to manage retention and recruitment in clubs
  • What is the impact of standardizing wireless devices on fitness and in clubs
  • What do the interoperability standards mean for fitness devices in 2017
  • Why wireless was first adopted by the nordic skiers and cycling industry early on in history
  • Why BLE (bluetooth) was invented to solve a connectivity issue in cell phones, fitness, and globally to remove wires from everyday devices
  • The difference between ANT (radio protocol) and ANT+ (the alliance) 
  • How crowded group fitness environments can benefit from the ANT technology
  • What types of sensor technology are making the largest impact for the future of fitness
  • Why being able to correlate heart rate with power output via accelerated technology is optimal
  • How smart band-aids and skin sensor technology is being used to track hydration for athletes 
  • Why heart rate accuracy measured at the wrist may or may not be optimal for coaching 
  • What are the roadblocks and exciting opportunities for sensor technology in fitness 
  • Paul's featured contribution in the 2017 FIT-C Tech Trends Report

Top 3 Takeaways From The Show

  • To the average consumer, the heart rate monitor is an innovative and exciting tool, especially when it's removed from the chest and now being used at the wrist due to technology advancement in optical sensors that has risen to be commercially viable.
  • Successful club owners and operators in the next 2 years must be educated and informed to avoid being left behind the growth curve. The standardization and interoperability of wireless tech and wearables with sensors that are connected to the cloud will meet the needs for the health club members of today and the future by providing a truly seamless fitness experience.
  • It comes down to a financial bottom line—if you don’t invest in technology, you have very little capability of communicating with your members, and you have very little capability of communicating with the equipment that you’re using in the clubs.

Power Quotes From Paul

"Many product suppliers for health clubs are waiting for technology to stabilize, but the truth is, it's not going to stabilize. The technology and innovation curve is growing steeply and it's not going to slow down." - Paul Lockington on the Fitness + Technology Podcast

"New sensor technologies for group fitness mirrors the serious understanding that group fitness is a moneymaker for clubs. If you don't have group fitness, cycling, TRX, or Orange Theory typed programs, you're missing out on what's making people money." - Paul Lockington on the Fitness + Technology Podcast

Resources Mentioned From Paul

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Dec 20, 2016

Josh Leve is responsible for the strategic development and growth of the Association of Fitness Studios. Josh brings more than 10 years of sales, consulting, advertising, marketing, operations, and retail experience to AFS. Josh has spent more than a decade in the fitness industry. Most recently managing large scale health clubs and successfully turning around the financial performance of three different facilities, while also providing consultative services for the boutique studio market.

The idea of AFS stemmed from combining Josh’s health and fitness background, with his father Chuck's 40-year expertise in developing fitness associations. Time and time again, Josh had seen first hand, trainer after trainer leave the health club environment to start their own business, yet only to return due to the inability to find the proper resources focused on the business of owning and operating a fitness studio. In 2013, the Association of Fitness Studios (AFS) was born.

You can say running an association and being in the fitness industry was inevitable for Josh. His grandfather Mort (a member of the Handball Hall of Fame) was founder of the National Court Clubs Association (NCCA) – one of the International, Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association’s (IHRSA) predecessors – and executive director of the US Handball Association (USHA).

His father, Chuck Leve (a member of the Racquetball Hall of Fame) and 40-year industry veteran, was executive director of the US Racquetball Association, a founding employee of IHRSA, and developer and builder of four fitness start-ups including IHRSA.

Prior to his health club experience Josh worked with Corbett Accel – the largest healthcare communications/advertising company in the US where he launched products for major pharmaceutical companies such as Merck, Bristol Myers Squibb and Sanofi-Aventis. Josh holds a BA in Journalism from the University of Kansas.

Listen To Episode 005 As Josh Uncovers

  • Why many top trainers leave clubs and studios to open their own 
  • The roadblocks and opportunities exist for fitness studios in the next 2-3 years 
  • What is the AFS and how does it serve fitness and wellness studios?
  • What separates successful studios from the pack?
  • Josh's featured contribution in the 2017 FIT-C Tech Trends Report
  • How to create strategy around word of mouth and referrals for new studio members
  • What Crossfit means to the fitness and studio market landscape  
  • What technology is moving the needle in fitness studios
  • Why doing market research is pivotal for new studio owners
  • Why leveraging human connection with technology will lead the way in fitness
  • Understanding when to lean on technology and when to leverage personal connection in business operations.
  • How to use new technology to ease the stress of running a business 

Top 3 Takeaways From The Show

  • The future of successful fitness studios will be the ones that do customization and personalization best. Taking all the collected customer data and making it meaningful will separate the savvy studios from the rest of the pack. 
  • The consumer of today expects authenticity and high touch experiences from their studio. After all, a fitness studio by nature is deeply engrained in the local community. 
  • Make sure your business education and skill set runs parallel of your fitness education. Attend conferences, workshops, masterminds and the like to see what else others are using from a technology stand-point to differentiate themselves and determine if it's right for you.

Power Quotes From Josh

"In top fitness studios, it's about taking a high-touch, results driven approach and creating an experience that could never be emulated in a traditional big box facility." - Josh Leve on the Fitness + Technology Podcast

"As technology improves and more data is gathered from the human body, trainers (and thus studio owners) will need to be educated in how to make sense of this data." - Josh Leve on the Fitness + Technology Podcast

Resources Mentioned From Josh

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Dec 13, 2016

Daniel Waide has been a Fitness Operator and entrepreneur for 15 years. His fitness career began as a mobile Personal Trainer while completing a Bachelors degree in Applied Science (Human Movement) in Melbourne, Australia. 

He first worked technology into his fitness career when pre-apps, he created a web based text messaging tool to help his Personal Training clients train between sessions. His implementation of technology was key to the growth and success in his roles as National Fitness Manager with Genesis Fitness in Australia and as a Fitness Director for Town Sports International in Manhattan & Brooklyn.

Now working with Wexer, Daniel is helping fitness chains in the Americas and across the globe execute successful digital strategies. With a deep understanding of fitness and technology, Daniel aims to help more people get active, one digital fitness experience at a time. Wexer Virtual started with installations in Denmark and Norway, and has now expanded to more than 40 countries. 

Listen To Episode 003 As Daniel Uncovers

  • How virtual and streaming fitness is being used in studios with top instructors to drive member engagement 
  • Digital ecosystem: what is the seamless experience that makes a difference?
  • The history of WEXER in the fitness industry
  • What the new group fitness member really wants and how virtual creates member success stories
  • Gamification: why should trainers and club operators care and how will technology support it? 
  • Why most clubs are losing money without virtual and streaming when the GroupX room is empty 
  • How to create a fitness experience outside the 4 walls of the club using technology 
  • The evolution of virtual fitness: using collected data, what motivates a new member for the long term?
  • Daniel's featured contribution in the 2017 FIT-C Tech Trends Report
  • How virtual and digital fitness tools are serving the ever-expanding omnipresence gap
  • How AI will integrate into virtual fitness in the next 2-3 years
  • How clubs can balance both technology and people for smarter, more intuitive touch points  

Top 3 Takeaways From The Show

  • There is now an digital attack on the 4 walls of the club. Owners, trainers, and operators need to get clear on their digital strategy to compete with the reality of members being able to get both training and fitness anywhere. 
  • As the consumer choices become more empowered through new technologies, successful clubs will need to use virtual and streaming as a key part of their digital ecosystem to provide convenience and flexibility in their memberships.
  • For both reducing attrition and increasing member satisfaction in the age of non-committal members, trainers and operators must use the applicable digital tools and apps to shine for their membership base.  

Power Quotes From Daniel

 "More recently we are seeing an increasing amount of club groups combining virtual with live instruction. Either to make the live class even more engaging or to free up the instructor to enhance participant interaction." - Daniel Waide on the Fitness + Technology Podcast

"People want personalized programs. It's something that the fitness industry went away from as we started to direct people more towards personal training. New technology can help build these personalized programs, at scale." Daniel Waide on the Fitness + Technology Podcast

Resources Mentioned From Daniel

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Dec 6, 2016

Greg Skloot is an entrepreneur building technology for the fitness industry. As VP of Growth at Netpulse, Greg leads sales, customer success, marketing and operations for the #1 provider of mobile apps for health clubs. He splits time between San Francisco and visiting club operators all over the world, helping them leverage mobile to grow their businesses. Prior to joining Netpulse, Greg was Co-founder and CEO of Attend.com, where he raised $3M in VC funding and led a team of 30 employees. Greg is a frequent author and speaker about marketing and digital strategy. He is the author of several ebooks, including StartupsHeartCustomers.com, a popular online guide to sales and marketing. He holds a B.S. from Northeastern University, where he sits on the Alumni Board.

 

Listen To Episode 003 As Greg Uncovers 

  • The three categories of mobile value and strategy are needed for today's fitness club market
  • What new technology is driving mobile usage inside and outside the 4 walls of the health club
  • Why 1 out of every 4 pizzas that Domino's sells is via mobile
  • How to use "reward" points to meet the new consumer at their deepest need inside and outside the club 
  • Why Greg's passion for fitness and technology started when he was 14
  • How to get more "eyeballs" on your channel
  • Consumer evolution and trends for the Generation Z in the fitness industry 
  • Why most consumers look at their phone over 100 times per day
  • How to meet the consumer of the next 2-3 years on their phones 
  • A day in the life of a Generation Z club member
  • Understanding the boomer generation and their digital literacy 
  • Using mobile to increase club sales and lower attrition 
  • How mobile technology is giving the health and fitness industry the ability to reach more members than ever before

 

Top 3 Takeaways From The Show

  • Owners, operators, and trainers need to work together in satisfying the three categories of mobile and digital strategy:
    • Operations: checkins, schedules, sign ups, maps and amenities  
    • Engagement: interact and bring value to supporting the member's fitness journey via syncing wearables, loyalty programs, and rewards inside and outside the club 
    • Marketing: driving member referral, up-sells, promotions and general communication 
  • Apps and wearables are now the consumer norm: As clubs, the focus in 2017 needs to be on training staff to meet the technology demands of the new members. 
  • Successful clubs stay open to change: looking for new ways to reach members and what tools they can use to deliver added value. Digital training is changing the landscape for the fitness floor and will give trainers the ability to scale their business beyond the traditional model while opening up the door to allowing more members to get the benefits.

 

Power Quotes From Greg

 "We are in the midst of an incredible revolution in business models. Industries that have operated the same way for decades are being wildly disrupted by new startups that are thinking differently." - Greg Skloot on the Fitness + Technology Podcast

"The savvy operator is going to understand how to use technology as a powerful accelerant to their marketing programs, to their referral strategy, and to their member retention and engagement." Greg Skloot on the Fitness + Technology Podcast

 

Resources Mentioned From Greg

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Nov 29, 2016

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 002 As Bryan Uncovers 

  • How the role of the personal trainers is changing through technology
  • Pure digital solutions and well as hybrid and how the ubiquity of data is impacting behavior change science in the industry
  • How new innovations are meeting the needs of the active aging and boomers segments
  • The impact of new technologies for increasing global life expectancy and reducing poverty 
  • “Linear thinking vs. exponential thinking” 
  • The 2017 FIT-C Technology Trends Report
  • Sick care vs. primary prevention 
  • Globalization and sustainability in both education and food systems
  • Structural changes needed in public policy to help facilitate growth in the industry 
  • Urbanization and how health clubs are changing to meet global needs
  • How technology will expand human connection
  • How AI, and DARPA is working with armed forces veterans with PTSD
  • How technology is an extension of humanity and what’s ahead for the future
  • Virtual Reality and beyond 
  • How technology is affecting the human condition
  • The fitness growth market in China for 2017
  • What is the one thing that club operators, managers, and fitness professionals must do in 2017

Top 3 Takeaways From The Show

  • The one thing that club operators, owners, and fitness professionals must do in 2017 is get clear on what type of business and delivery model they really want to execute on in order to successfully ride this wave of technology and change in the industry.
  • The human mind is running on old software. To succeed in the new era, we all need to adopt exponential thinking and rise above the reptilian brain.
  • The landscape of the personal trainer and the delivery models of training services are changing in both pure digital and hybrid. Successful trainers, club owners, and operators need to explore the impact today for the future of fitness.

Power Quotes From Bryan

 “Technology comes from humanity. It's an extension of our own biology and it is an enabler of the greatest app in the world, which is the human spirit. “ - Bryan O’Rourke, on the Fitness + Technology Podcast

“We’re about to go through a huge surge in growth and we want everyone to benefit from that so that we can benefit the world as an industry.” - Bryan O’Rourke on the Fitness + Technology Podcast

Resources Mentioned From Bryan 

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Nov 28, 2016

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 001 As Bryan Uncovers 

  • 1 Billion gym and health club members globally by 2025, what's next?
  • Why Bryan is so passionate about the fitness industry and technology
  • The "sick care system" is unsustainable - quality lives and quality of life is a sustainability issue for us and our planet
  • How fitness is broadening its reach as part of an overall progression into life quality and longevity
  • Understanding the "Fourth Industrial Revolution"
  • Bryan's Presentation from London: "Poised For Growth" 
  • The 2017 FIT-C Technology Trends Report
  • Globalism: new markets and new innovations
  • How the greatest products of the next 20 years have not been created yet
  • Empowering the genius of the new millennial innovators 
  • Steven Kotler's work in technology
  • The rapidly changing consumers, millennials, and boomers 

Top 3 Takeaways From The Show

  • Club owners, operators, and fitness professionals must embrace the new era of technology in order to capitalize on the tremendous growth that is ahead in the next 3-5 years.
  • Read Kevin Kelly's book "The Inevitable" 
  • The consumer of today and the future must be met with omnipresence in the fitness industry.

Power Quotes From Bryan

 “Kevin Kelly has stated that at the rate AI technology is improving, a kid born today will rarely need to see a doctor to get a diagnosis by the time they are an adult." - Bryan O'Rourke on the Fitness + Technology Podcast

"In the midst of disruption in a world where having better questions will lead to better answers and to a brighter further for us all." - Bryan O'Rourke on the Fitness + Technology Podcast

"Here is the bottom line - in a decade from now many will be envious of not having been involved in what will become a hugely impactful industry. It would be like seeing the first planet take off at Kitty Hawk. That is where we are now." - Bryan O'Rourke on the Fitness + Technology Podcast

Resources Mentioned From Bryan 

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