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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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Now displaying: January, 2017
Jan 31, 2017

We're excited to bring you some of the most cutting edge information in fitness technology right from the 2017 CES show floor that directly relates to your fitness business. First up on today's show is Amy McDonough from Fitbit. 

Amy McDonough is the VP of Group Health at Fitbit. She works with employers, health plans and others in the corporate wellness space who are passionate about creating a culture of health within an organization or community. Amy oversees new and creative ways to bring consumer wearable technology into the corporate sphere with a goal of supporting as many individual’s as possible in their journey towards optimal health. 

Since 2008 Amy has been an integral part of Fitbit’s growth alongside the founders, and her deep insights about using these devices will give both operators and trainers a valuable perspective on how this will impact the fitness business in the new year.

Fitbit met with us LIVE at CES to discuss the new landscape of corporate and large group health programs, the data around wearables, and their ecosystems that drive social connection and much more. 

Listen To Episode 010 As Amy Uncovers

  • Exploring the benefits of wearables: increased productivity, decreased absenteeism, lower A1c levels and supporting medication free lifestyles for diabetics
  • How Fitbit is impacting both the fitness and wellness industries in 2017
  • The growth of Fitbit: how Group Health is designed to meet the rising wellness needs of companies everywhere 
  • How Target, SAP, Bank of America are incorporating Fitbit Group Health in their wellness solutions 
  • How to approach the mindset of those resistant to using technology for behavior change as part of a team strategy 
  • How wearable technology is positively impacting select Fortune 500 companies 
  • Fitbit's new interactive features including a new community section of the website and specifically a feed where inspirational moments can be shared to increase physical activity among members
  • Why Fitbit is combining large amounts of collected data create new, intuitive products, and more personalized devices to support the health consumers of today and the future
  • What opportunities exist for large fitness clubs with Fitbit Group Health  

Top 3 Takeaways From The Show

  • Amy believes there is no "one size fits all" wearable device or even approach to supporting a fitness enthusiast or club member's journey towards using increased accountability through technology. Looking deeper, it is the intrinsic and/or extrinsic motivation that is unique to all that really moves the needle.
  • The data is proving that increased accountability through wearable devices for select companies is yielding a 24% - 46% decrease in anticipated health care costs after a 3 year look back period.
  • The combination of integrating workplace group health initiatives using social, self motivation, and financial rewards programs tied to wearable technology is proving to be successful for both employees and insurance companies. 

Power Quotes From Amy

"What keeps me motivated every day is that Fitbit is in a very unique position to really look at consumers as individuals and help them on a personalized and guided journey to their health." - Amy McDonough on the Fitness + Technology Podcast

"While health can be serious business, we feel it doesn't have to be. We believe you’re more likely to reach your goals if you’re encouraged to have fun, smile, and feel empowered along the way." - Amy McDonough the Fitness + Technology Podcast

Resources Mentioned From Amy

 

Next: Tom Cortese From Peloton

We're excited to be bringing you some of the most cutting edge information in fitness technology right from the CES show floor,  that directly relates to your fitness business. Place your dial above at 22:33 to hear the feature with Tom.

Tom Cortese is the COO and co-founder of Peloton - Tom has built a career managing effective, hard-working teams. and has deep roots in product development and user interface design and recently co-founded and sold the award winning PROUST.

Listen To Episode 011 As Tom Uncovers

  • How Tom went from triathlon and working for Revolution Health group to co-found Peloton 
  • Why Peloton decided to enter the fitness space and their future plans 
  • The mindset of larger fitness organizations towards Peloton in the early years
  • How Peloton built an incredible community with unique personalities in your virtual and digital instructors
  • Fast Company's feature of Peloton’s commercial-grade bike launch that will brings the cycling experience to hotels, office buildings, universities, and recently started manufacturing bikes for gyms across the country in 2017.
  • What group exercise trainers and health clubs can expect in the next 12 months from Peloton for the blending of meaningful data and advanced fitness technology
  • Major difference between Peloton and Soul Cycle, Zwift, WEXER virtual, and the others in our space

Power Quote From Tom

"We didn't set out to reshape a piece of fitness equipment. We set out to bring you a totally different experience. To bring that engaging, fun, exciting group fitness workout to the comfort and convenience of your home." - Tom Cortese on the Fitness + Technology Podcast

Resources Mentioned From Tom

Support This Podcast 

Thanks To Our Outstanding Sponsors

  • Bryan O’Rourke and his family of companies including Vedere VenturesIntegerus AdvisorsMoon Mission Mediaand 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

Jan 24, 2017

Robert Dyer is the principle at Integrus, LLC, and a global ambassador with more than 30 years of operating health clubs, consulting to and advising fitness facility owners, global suppliers, and developing organizations. Robert and his partners have advised brands around the world. His fitness career began in the early 80’s when he founded and served as CEO of the Fort Worth Fit For Life health club chain, and in 2006, he became CEO and founder of Fitmarc

Sometimes you'll hear the phrase "people person" and think of someone you know who fits this description. You know the ones: those folks who just seem magnetic to everyone around them. Robert Dyer is most certainly a people person. It's reflected in his approach to business, whether he's working with someone in the fitness industry or from an outside field. Colleagues refer to him as "the genuine article," and "committed to improving the lives and circumstances of all those around him" without hesitation. People also observe that he seems to go out of his way to get to the heart of an interaction, bringing integrity, fun, and authenticity to large presentations and small collaborations alike.

Robert's philanthropic efforts have focused on helping and coaching people who can benefit from his experience and forward-looking insights. Robert's reputation of building relationships that matter and humanizing the health and fitness industry are well known to the people he has worked with over the years.

Listen To Episode 010 As Robert Uncovers

  • Bridging the gap between "old school" traditional club operations vs. "new school" technology focused operations
  • What best practices Robert put into place to support Les Mills in managing over 800 facilities with 5,000 fitness professionals
  • Real life on the ground vs. the perception of what clubs “should be doing” online
  • Robert's featured contribution in the 2017 FIT-C Tech Trends Report
  • Team training: how new technology and customer service trainings need to be taught as technology grows on the fitness floor and in the back office 
  • The one thing that hasn’t changed in fitness: It's a "people" business
  • The club operator is busy with day to day operations, how do they create the time and inspiration to shift culture towards new technology in the club?
  • How to know who to trust for quality information in a busy digital world
  • Why Robert believes that focusing on educating staff, management, and club leaders to get 360 degree "buy in" is the most important first step of any map for technology integration and operational change 
  • What holds club operators back from using technology to create the time gaps for proactive team meetings that will foster productivity and connection.
  • Does a specific road map for change with fundamentals for integrating new technology in clubs? 
  • The mindset of club operators and fitness pros that will bring them all the success they desire
  • What separates the real, trustable relationships in the fitness industry from all the rest

Top 3 Takeaways From The Show

  • Some of the best input a club operator can ever receive from trainers and staff comes from an environment of transparency that is demonstrated from the top down. For any and all successful new technology integrations to work in a club, the enrollment conversation must happen from a place of collective feedback, not strong arm tactics. 
  • When it comes to new programs, operational policies, and technology systems to be effective and sustainable, all leadership must truly lead by their own example. Clear communication about the benefits to both staff and customers from any technology program initiatives must be demonstrated from all levels for success.
  • In a sometimes noisy digital world, Robert believes it is important to take the time to create meaningful, personal, and authentic relationships beyond just digital. Technology is growing exponentially in our space, and with that, the opportunity to create those trusted connections are now more open than ever before. 

Power Quotes From Robert 

"I don't like to ask someone to do something I'm not willing to do myself. Obviously, as we grow we can't be everywhere at the same time, but keeping this in mind makes you think about whether something is really that important." - Robert Dyer on the Fitness + Technology Podcast

"It's important to understand that it's not a competition between old and new or human vs. technology. It's seeing what the best answers are for our customers and their needs. There is no doubt in my mind that the fitness industry, either new or old school, are both going to have to adopt technology as we move forward." - Robert Dyer on the Fitness + Technology Podcast

Resources Mentioned From Robert 

Support This Podcast

Thanks To Our Outstanding Sponsors

  • Bryan O’Rourke and his family of companies including Vedere VenturesIntegerus AdvisorsMoon Mission Mediaand 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 

Jan 17, 2017

Graham Melstrand develops opportunities and relationships that advance ACE health policy positions and fitness industry standards. He assesses legislative positions at all levels of government that align with the ACE mission, and he monitors existing and emerging legislation and regulatory policy, informing ACE of the potential impact they have on the exercise professional, the public, and other stakeholders. He creates relationships with key policymakers and collaborative organizations and serves in an advisory capacity on a number of boards and committees including: president of the board for the Coalition for the Registration of Exercise Professionals, within the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs and other regulatory agencies.

Melstrand holds a bachelor's degree in physical education/athletic training from California State University, Long Beach. As a competitive cyclist, he participated in the U.S. Olympic Trials (1984, 1988) and was a member of the U.S. National Team Development Program (1983 – 1990).

Listen To Episode 009 As Graham Uncovers

  • Why 72% of clients are asking for advice and feedback from activity trackers 
  • Why the exercise professional is moving into health coaching space to manage large groups
  • Group Exercise Programming: Growing diversity and opportunities in the space
  • Program offerings around the health coaching space  
  • Understanding the programmatic based delivery models for personal training vs. session-based delivery model
  • What national programs are moving health progress forward by blending the activity data and prevention programs with and without government reimbursement
  • Why programmatic based delivery service models reach more members than session based delivery models (3-5%)
  • How the perception of the public health community about the fitness professional is now changing
  • Community health: How new wearable activity technology is being used to geo-target for ROI in infrastructures for walkable communities
  • Health literacy: Do average people know if they are or are not meeting activity guidelines?
  • Correlations between physical activity and disease in affluent countries
  • Life insurance: How will this industry give discounts for activity tracked through wearables?
  • Understanding Intensive Behavioral Therapy: Received a grade B recommendation from the US preventative services task force now covered by medicare/medicaid (Behavioral physical activity nutritional intervention that targets individuals that are at risk for cardiovascular disease and have an additional risk factor - an estimated 90 million Americans would be open to receive this type of lifestyle counseling and would benefit, but only 8 million individuals have had access to it.
  • How the YMCA’s are a core portion of the delivery for the CDC’s diabetes prevention program, which was just approved for reimbursement through medicare/medicaid (to the resistance of big pharma) 
  • Graham's featured contribution in the 2017 FIT-C Tech Trends Report

Top 3 Takeaways From The Show

  • The data is showing from ACE and other Industry reports that health coaching is emerging in our space where the non-member programs are becoming a lot more common. People are moving from early adopters and into the next group of facilities that want to build on the success that their peers have had.
  • In 2017, technology and devices are not the competition for the fitness professional, they are a tool that can be leveraged to help manage a larger client base, stay in contact with clients, and to manage a group of individuals towards better health.
  • The perception of the public health community about the role of fitness professionals is now changing via the use of accreditation and new technology that taps into the potential of aggregate data that can be used to increase population health.

Power Quotes From Graham

"Technology devices are not competition for the exercise professional, they are a tool that can be leveraged to help manage a larger client base, stay in contact with clients, and to manage a group of individuals towards better health." - Graham Melstrand on the Fitness + Technology Podcast

"We believe that health coaching is rapidly emerging in the health and fitness space while the non-member programs are becoming a lot more common. People are moving from early adopters and into the next group of facilities that want to build on the success that their peers have had." - Graham Melstrand on the Fitness + Technology Podcast

Resources Mentioned From Graham

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Jan 10, 2017

For over 20 years, Ted Vickey has immersed himself in fitness technology. Starting as the Executive Director of the White House Athletic Center through his fitness consulting company, FitWell, and continuing with his latest project as a Ph.D. researcher on Social Networking and Exercise at the National University of Ireland, Galway. Ted has proven to be an early adopter and advocate in technical systems and their applicability to fitness. 

Ted believes we can take advantage of technology to not only motivate individuals across the globe to get out the door and move, but to be in closer contact with healthcare providers. 

He is an emeritus member of the Board of Directors for the American Council on Exercise and has consulted with key organizations such as the Department of Commerce, the Securities and Exchange Commission, Fruit of the Loom, TSA and more. By education he is an Exercise Scientist, by experience an Entrepreneur, and by passion a Connector. 

Listen To Episode 008 As Ted Uncovers

  • Why major wearable technology organizations are investing in and creating digital wellness programs for 2017  
  • What inspired Ted's Tedx Talk "The Wireless Future of Wellness Is Now" 
  • Identifying new roles in fitness for trainers on and off the exercise floor
  • Why the current model of personal training is broken 
  • Bridging the gap between wearables and digital coaching  
  • Identifying how health and fitness technologies can impact low income populations 
  • Why fitness consumers are now asking for training at the club with technology 
  • Understanding Data Collection Phase 1: Create the wireless fitness/wellness devices and improve data accuracy
  • Understanding Data Collection Phase 2: Analyze the fitness data from a health professional
  • Understanding Data Collection Phase 3: Implementing the data, personalizing it, and making it actionable 
  • Google AI Investments in 2016
  • The results of ACE's Fitness Technology Survey Fitness Technology Among Trainers in 2016 
  • Ted's featured contribution in the 2017 FIT-C Tech Trends Report

Top 3 Takeaways From The Show

  • Disruptive technology is happening right now in the fitness industry. With some of the largest brands in wellness technology and digital health aiming their sights on the fitness industry,  2017 will be the year for smart club owners, operators, and trainers to dedicate time and energy towards adoption.
  • This is an exciting time for all involved in the health, fitness and wellness industry.  Big changes to the industry are fast approaching, and technology is leading the disruption.  Those that understand and embrace technology will continue to see success and grow, those that don't may struggle to survive.  
  • The current healthcare model is broken. By being the bridge between doctor appointments, the certified health professional can play a critical role in the success of the overall wellness of each client.  And by using the proper disruptive health technologies as a tool, this success can be even greater.  

Power Quotes From Ted

"If you are a personal trainer and you're afraid that you're going to be replaced by a piece of technology, you should be. Because if the only thing you're doing for your client is the exact same thing that a piece of technology is doing, then you're not really a personal trainer." - Ted Vickey on the Fitness + Technology Podcast

"The iPhone 6 is one million times more powerful than the computer used to put the man on the moon. What I suggest is that we as the fitness industry, the health industry, and the healthcare industry realize this is our moonshot. This is how we can make a difference, and that is by using technology to make a difference in the lives of those that we have the opportunity and the privilege to serve." - Ted Vickey on the Fitness + Technology Podcast

Resources Mentioned From Ted

 

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Jan 3, 2017

Dr. Michael Mantell earned his Ph.D. at the University of Pennsylvania and his Masters at Hahnnemann Medical College, where he wrote his thesis on the psychological aspects of obesity. His career includes serving as the Chief Psychologist for Children’s Hospital in San Diego, and as the founding Chief Psychologist for the San Diego Police Department. He served on the faculty of UCSD’s School of Medicine, Dept. of Psychiatry, and as an Senior Executive Organizational Leadership Consultant for many top-tier companies in the US and abroad.

He is the Director of Transformational Coaching at the Premier Fitness Camp at Omni La Costa, and previously was the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences at the American Council on Exercise. As a member of the Science Advisory Board of the International Council on Active Aging, Dr. Mantell is a 3x best-selling author, an international behavior science presenter and keynote speaker, and Advisor to numerous fitness-health related organizations. 

After more than 40 years of diagnosing and treating individuals and couples with mental illness, he now provides advanced transformational leadership and behavior agility coaching/mentoring for sustainable strategic outcomes in mindful, values driven and positively adaptive ways to business leaders, entrepreneurs, athletes, couples, individuals, families and organizations to reach breakthrough levels of success and significance in their professional and personal lives.

He is a regular contributor for many TV and radio programs and is a nationally sought after behavioral science coach for business leaders, athletes, individuals and families. He is listed in the greatest.com's 2013 “The 100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness.” 

Listen To Episode 006 As Dr. Mantell Uncovers

  • How Behavior Change integrates with the fitness industry as part of Dr. Mantell's "Optimal Sphere of Wellness"
  • How technology will help fitness trainers keep their clients more complaint when combined with behavior change
  • How Dr. Mantell sees robots working along with trainers in health clubs
  • Technology's role for the fitness consumer "inner-stance vs. outer circumstance"
  • Why the data is showing a shift from the role of personal trainers evolving into health coaches and what this means to health clubs 
  • The evolution of consumers paying for a gym membership, to a medical fitness center, to the new model of optimal health centers
  • Why the fitness and health systems of the future will blend medical, health care, and fitness professionals to meet the onslaught of industrialized society.   
  • Learn about the "10 Cognitive Distortions" and how that relates to health clubs 
  • Understanding the drawbacks of "all of nothing" linear thinking
  • How new advances in artificial intelligence will support both the wellness and fitness industry
  • The role of robots in gyms, senior fitness, and active aging fitness groups
  • How robots at Harvard are diagnosing emotional disorders
  • How behavior change techniques will come from AI via planned social support 
  • Dr. Mantell's featured contribution in the 2017 FIT-C Tech Trends Report

Top 3 Takeaways From The Show

  • For sustainable and successful behavior change using wearables, connected devices, and mobile apps, it isn't the technology, it's what the individual thinks about the technology. It's the individual's inner-stance about their digital circumstance. It is the preference and the perceived value of the device to the client that will elicit sustainable change.
  • For health coaches, yesterday the gym was it. Today, it's the medical fitness center, but tomorrow, when everyone wakes up, the new model is going to be the optimal health center.
  • Robots and artificial intelligence are now capable of diagnosing emotions in clients and Dr. Mantell predicts it is only a matter of time before robotics and artificial intelligence will work their way into health clubs. This modality has already been seen in active aging groups, small health groups, and in studies at Harvard.

Power Quotes From Dr. Mantell

"For health coaches, yesterday the gym was it. Today, it's the medical fitness center, but tomorrow, when everyone wakes up, the new model is going to be the optimal health center." - Dr. Michael Mantell on the Fitness + Technology Podcast

"For sustainable and successful behavior change using wearables, connected devices, and mobile apps, it isn't the technology, it's what the individual thinks about the technology. It's the individual's inner-stance about their digital circumstance." - Dr. Michael Mantell on the Fitness + Technology Podcast

Resources Mentioned From Dr. Mantell

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