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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: February, 2017
Feb 27, 2017

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 015 As Dave Uncovers

  • What is MYZONE and what problem(s) does it solve in our industry?
  • Why Dave believes consumer marketing campaigns are inundating club owners 
  • The data behind why 50% of people that start their fitness program in January quit the same year
  • How MYZONE technology guides the fitness pro (effort levels and MEP's) 
  • How MYZONE effort points (MEP's) are used in the group fitness setting
  • How Midtown Athletic Club is using the MYZONE system to attract new members not on EFT to engage in club activities
  • The recent partnership of Club Connect and MYZONE for educating fitness professionals in technology 
  • How health fitness professionals and coaches can use MYZONE and wearable technology in future settings to maximize profit and efficacy on the club floor
  • Understanding machine learning in virtual coaching for automatic messaging systems
  • The landscape of wearables: wrist worn, chest, clothing and activity reminders vs. activity trackers 
  • Incidental activity trackers and concerted activity trackers: accelerometers and phones 
  • How consumers are in pre-contemplation stages of behavior change using wearables  
  • Why heart rate recovery is the true measure of fitness for clients across the industry
  • Why the chest  strap will always be the king in heart rate monitoring because it's not a question of technology, it's a question of physiology
  • The one thing Dave believes the club owners should be looking for around wearable technology in 2017

Top 3 Takeaways From The Show 

  • As the multitudes of technology platforms and wearable devices increase, smart club owners must partition dedicated time to research their best options. What's most important in the age of AI, machine learning, and the internet of things, is that whatever technology solution a club decides to offer to their members, it must work with devices both old and new to deliver a seamless experience that meets the member at their deepest needs.
  • The intimidation factor of new technologies for group instructors and club owners of both small and big-box clubs are being alleviated by forward thinking companies like MYZONE and others in partnerships to proactively educate fitness pros on how wearable technology can enhance their relationships with clients. 
  • Dave believes that education around wearables is the glue that  will hold everything together between the consumer, the device, and the trainer being able to get the most out of these new opportunities. The successful clubs of the future will implement foundational and progressive educational programs that both empower and inspire fitness industry professionals as a whole to adopt new wearable technologies as we move forward.

Power Quotes From Dave

"The struggles that club owners have is the intimidation factor of any new form of technology. It's one thing to have someone with wearable device, but it's another to be able to analyze the data. That's both the real key and opportunity. Doing nothing is no longer a solution for operators; they don't want to be another blockbuster or Kodak while sitting back to watch." - 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

Resources Mentioned From Dave

Support This Podcast

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

Feb 21, 2017

With the swell of technology growth in or industry, what does the IOT mean for fitness in 2017? Listen to Michael Piermont and Dave Johnson from ECOFIT Networks uncover the details in this featured episode.

Michael Piermont has been starting businesses since he was 7 years old and is a consummate “connector.” Prior to starting amSTATZ, an app for personal trainers and their clients, Michael was the VP of Business Development for GoHealth, an internet marketplace for buying and selling health insurance. Since amSTATZ, Michael has co-founded FANCHEST, a subscription gift box company for sports fans. Currently, he is the CEO of ECOFIT Inc, one of Vedere Venture's portfolio companies.

As the CEO of ECOFIT, the industry leader in networking cardio fitness equipment, Michael supports a technology solution for club operators to help maximize their club floor space.

The foundation of their ECOFIT system is a specialized wireless technology enabling extreme equipment densities with cross brand compatibility. Building on this foundation, Micheal and the team have used ECOFIT technology to respond to the industry need for an enterprise level cross brand cardio management solution.

This closed system allows viewing the health of all your cardio equipment from anywhere which gives club operators deep analytics to help better manage purchasing decisions that are based on real and relevant data through one platform that works with all of your cardio brands, old and new. 

Listen To Episode 014 As Michael Uncovers

  • What does the IOT mean for the fitness industry in 2017
  • When big data is useful and when it's not for operators 
  • How Michael took his skills in data analytics from working in the NBA to the insurance industry, and then to fitness
  • Why always on connected devices are changing the digital landscape for fitness and our collective society
  • Why the IOT will never replace a personal trainer
  • What happens when trainers and club owners start using big data and the IOT for better client results on the gym floor and around al club amenities 
  • What is the benefit of geo-targeting and using real time data from the IOT for clubs
  • How some clubs in Chicago are using the IOT to run 100% automated health clubs right now
  • Saving floor space, cycling gym equipment, and adding to the bottom line using the IOT
  • How technology can be used got automate the boring tasks that big down health club staff 
  • Understanding predictive analytics: the branch of data mining concerned with the prediction of future probabilities and trends. Essentially, it is the predictor of variables that can be measured for an individual or other entity to predict future behavior. 

Resources Mentioned From Michael

Tune In @ 31:53 For Our Second Featured Guest: Dave Johnson 

 

During the last 4 years Dave Johnson have been operating in a development role at ECOFIT Networks. With a deep background in both fitness and technology, Dave brings a substantial knowledge of connected fitness to the industry both inside and outside club walls.

During his time working with ECOFIT Dave has have helped build the industry's open network wireless platform and has come to understand this space and the requirements of delivering a successful networked strategy.

Before ECOFIT, Dave was a representative for many leading equipment manufacturers developing strong commercial sales channels to military and government organizations across Canada. His time in the fitness industry has created very close senior-level relationships with major equipment manufacturers and fitness facilities alike.

Dave is also the owner and operator of West Coast Recreation, which provides amateur and professional sporting events to thousands of fitness enthusiasts in the Pacific Northwest since 1994. 

Listen To Episode 014 As Dave Uncovers

  • What does cardio and fitness equipment intelligence mean for operators?
  • How is ECOFIT helping club owners run a more profitable business by tracking commercial fitness equipment usage
  • How sensor technology connected to a gateway can reach up to 600 feet even for busy big box clubs
  • Why In order to help you identify which metrics to measure, we’ve highlighted the top 5 metrics that are most important in analyzing your gym’s success and profitability.
  • How to use cardio and fitness equipment technology to maximize profit of your health club floor space
  • Understanding how to use smart cardio tracking in a closed system to increase member satisfaction and retention
  • Why the profitability of your health club will be made or lost in the details of you club operations
  • How test pilots of ECOFIT with @4 Hour Fitness, Crunch, and other top brands are using smart cardio and fitness equipment intelligence in 2017
  • Dave's ethos for the co-founding ECOFIT after years of work in recreation and fitness and more 

Resources Mentioned From Dave

Support This Podcast

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

Feb 14, 2017

For episode 13 we’re coming to the end of our featured series, LIVE from #CES2017 at the #FitTechCES summit bringing the top speakers and brands from Las Vegas right to your audio player. 

From heart rate to gamification, nutrition tracking and beyond, this episode is highlighting the cutting edge of innovation and product development for fitness in the new year. 

Our first guest is Michael Herlihy, the Regional Account Manager at Polar Electro. A lot of athletes and coaches around the world know Polar for the heart rate sensors that made it famous since 1977, but over the past few years, we’ve seen some incredible products for lifestyle and health and wellness come out from Polar.

On this podcast we're learning from one of the most famous companies in our industry about advanced training with wearable technology. With a recent partnership teaming up with Les Mills to create a fitter and healthier planet, you’ll learn about the virtual and cloud-based fitness tracking systems and devices that will bring meaning and relevancy to your club’s bottom line.  

You’ll definitely want to stay tuned for our second feature guest Kevin McCoy from Lose It! 

With early success from a 2008 partnership with Apple and over a million downloads in their first year, Kevin is sharing wth us why what started out as the most successful calorie tracker application became a comprehensive and gamified health program. we’’ll a;also discover the strategy behind how losit is making mindful eating accessible to all people- inside the fitness industry and globally.

  

Listen To Episode 013 As Michael Uncovers

  • What lead to the rise of Polar's success from 1977 to 2017
  • What is Polar's ecosystem for remote and virtual coaching feature named “Polar Flow For Coach” 
  • Why Polar and Les Mills have teamed up to create a fitter and healthier planet
  • What devices are advanced training companions for professional and devoted athletes who want to reach their peak performance.
  • Why Michael believes that anyone can make a watch in 2017, but what differentiates Polar in a crowded market
  • What should trainers and club operators and owners be on the lookout for in the next 12 months from Polar for the blending of meaningful data and advanced fitness technology
  • How virtual coaching with wearables are creating new opportunities in the fitness industry 
  • With this new technology, what has Michael seen change and what are the key aspects of what hasn't
  • What programs combined with wearables will add to the bottomline for a club 

Power Quote From Michael

"To be honest, anybody can build a watch. It's hard however to develop a system that actually allows you to analyze information that's beneficial to you. It's great that you walked those 10,000 steps today but what does that mean for you physically? That is really how we separate ourselves from the competition by delivering the precise analysis that we can provide to the user." - Michael Herlihy on the Fitness + Technology Podcast

Resources Mentioned From Michael

Tune in @ 17:51 to hear from our featured guest, Kevin McCoy 

Kevin McCoy is the SVP of Business Development at Lose It! and is sharing with us how from early success in 2008 in partnership with Apple and over a million downloads in their first year, why what started out as the most successful calorie tracker application became a comprehensive and gamified health program. Kevin is also also discussing the strategy behind how Lose It! is making mindful eating accessible to all people, both inside the fitness industry and globally.

Kevin joined Lose It! in 2009 and leads all strategic partnerships for the company including corporate sponsorships, technology partners, health professionals and coaches and affiliates. Kevin works with all of Lose It's partners and potential partners to ensure the brand is the right fit for Lose It! and the members. His key focus is working with well-aligned partners where the partnership brings value to their members and helps them along their journey of living a healthier life.

From Josh Trent's discussion in 2016 with Charles Teague, CEO of Lose It! you'll learn the new changes over the past year for the award-winning application that now serves over 3 million people a month and which helped it's users lose over 45 million pounds on the platform.

Listen To Episode 013 As Kevin Uncovers

  • Why smart nutrition tracking is changing the landscape of fitness, diet, and health in the digital age
  • What coaches and clients really wanted and needed for digital health coaching and virtual coaching to be a win-win
  • Kevin's personal journey since 2009 with Lose It! and his ethos behind the company
  • What health and wellness coaches be on the lookout for in the next 12 months from LoseIt! for the blending of meaningful data and advanced fitness technology
  • What Kevin has learned as a member of the Consumer Technology Association - Health & Fitness Technology Board
  • The framework behind the new feature Snap It uses the most advanced image recognition technology to deliver the best food tracking experience in the world
  • Why Lose it! worked with data scientists to create a revolutionary tool called Snap It where the user can literally take a photo of their nutrition and it uploads to the cloud
  • Understanding how machine learning can help log nutrients in an accurate and easy way for users globally
  • Hurdles that Lose It! has overcome on the way to success in this market

Power Quote From Kevin

"We're always focused on making mindful eating accessible to people, and tracking your food we know is the best way to actually lose weight, but has difficulty. When we originally started Lose It!, we knew we could make it easier to make people figure out what healthy food they wanted to eat." - Kevin McCoy on the Fitness + Technology Podcast

Resources Mentioned From Kevin

 

 

Support This Podcast

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 

 

Feb 7, 2017

For episode 12 we’re continuing our featured series, LIVE from CES 2017 bringing the top speakers and brands from Las Vegas right to your audio player. 

Our first guest is Dr. Steven Leboeuf from Valencell. You won’t want to miss our second featured guest, Joni Kettunen, CEO of Firstbeat, and pioneer in physiological analytics and their applications for fitness. His vision for incorporating heartbeat analytics and wearable technology has placed Firstbeat at the cutting edge of the industry.

About Dr. Steven

As co-founder and President of Valencell, Inc., Dr. LeBoeuf has developed ongoing strategic partnerships between Valencell and leaders in industry and academia. He has raised more than $10M in funding for Valencell and is the inventor/co-inventor of more than 50 granted patents, including dozens of foundational patents in the field of accurate wearable sensors. Prior to Valencell, LeBoeuf led the optoelectronic biosensor program at GE Global Research, where he managed the development and productization of biosensor systems and developed cutting-edge nanosensor technology. Before joining GE, LeBoeuf developed optoelectronic solid-state materials and devices while researching at North Carolina State University. Dr. LeBoeuf holds a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from N.C. State and a B.S. in Mathematics and Electrical Engineering from Louisiana Tech University. 

With fitness wearables, apps, and devices of the rise, Dr. Steven is talking with us about a flourishing segment in our industry called, “hearables.” These are connected devices worn at the ear, typically functioning as an audio earbud, biometric monitor, and can also be used as an augmented hearing device.

The hearables segment is projected to have a compound growth rate of over 170% in the next 4 years, and Dr. Steven’s insight and expertise on how this tech will impact the fitness industry will uncover the changes we’re seeing in the way fitness professionals will collect heart rate, blood pressure, perform health and fitness assessments and much more. 

Listen To Episode 012 As Dr. Steven Uncovers

  • What are hearables?
  • Growth of hearables as a segment in wearables 
  • Why there are over 330 million aftermarket headphones now in the marketplace 
  • Why track biometrics at the ear? (effective due to arterioles and blood flow)
  • The science of tracking blood pressure and other biometrics at the ear 
  • Discover how in 2006 Valencell’s technology lead to the rise of the wearables market  
  • Why one of the biggest hurdles with sensor technology is predicting the future (for investors)
  • Making sensor tech seamless? Exploring augmented hearing and voice user input 
  • The confluence of combining wearables biometrics with AI for Voice Plus 
  • Why use case validation is not done well currently, and what needs to be done for the future
  • Why everything Dr. Steven does is about making people's lives better

Top 3 Takeaways From The Show

  • The hearables segment is projected to have a compound growth rate of over 170% in the next 4 years. This technology will impact the future of how fitness professionals will collect heart rate, blood pressure, perform health and fitness assessments and much more. 
  • Hearables are poised for tremendous growth, being driven by several orthogonal market forces, however, before mass-market adoption (10 M+ users) can be realized, a few technical challenges remain.
  • The technical hurdles that stand between niche markets and mass consumer adoption are proving stable, seamless Bluetooth and wireless connectivity balanced with advanced features of size, comfort, and power management for long-term comfort and extended wear use cases.

Power Quotes From Dr. Steven

"At Valencell, we want you live your life well, with whatever wearable you like, and we'll help collect the data you generate to uniquely guide you in your lifestyle to better health." - Dr. Steven LeBoeuf on the Fitness + Technology Podcast

"We're seeing that sensor use case validation is often not done well. What companies must do now is work together to test out these cutting edge technologies to meet the demands for seamless functionality and accuracy during real life situations." - Dr. Steven LeBoeuf on the Fitness + Technology Podcast

Resources Mentioned From Dr. Steven

 

Tune In @ 20:25 For Featured Guest: Joni Kettunen, CEO - Firstbeat

Mr. Joni Kettunen, PhD, is a pioneer in physiological analytics and its applications. He is leading Firstbeat at the cutting edge of heartbeat analytics for wearables, fitness devices, wellbeing services and professional sports. As of today, Firstbeat analytics is used by hundreds of elite sports teams, thousands of corporations, and millions of consumers to improve their performance and wellbeing.

Before founding Firstbeat in 2002, Joni has done and published research in the areas of psychophysiology, behavioral medicine, autonomic nervous system function and stress quantification. Joni received his PhD from the Department of Psychology at the University of Helsinki in 1999.

His vision for incorporating heartbeat analytics and wearable technology has placed Firstbeat at the cutting edge of the industry. On this show, you’ll learn about how coaches and trainers are using Firstbeat’s technology to train clients with precision heart rate variability, otherwise known as HRV. Joni is going to share with us how GARMIN is using this technology combined with virtual coaching for athletes and everyday fitness users to support wellbeing and superior performance by tracking much deeper than just steps and sweat. 

Listen To Episode 012 As Joni Uncovers

  • What is Firstbeat?
  • How Firstbeat models HRV with 20+ phases of heart rate data for actionable use from coaches and trainers
  • How to provide actionable and individual feedback for stress or fitness training or sleep recovery
  • How to model heart rate variability and stress in real life
  • Why using HRV gives a “direct view” into the parasympathetic vagal system,  which is strongly related to the recovery systems in the body
  • HRV for coaches in person and virtually 
  • GARMIN HRV devices using training
  • Why Firstbeat has grown to 90 people on staff with 20 exercise physiologists alone
  • Understanding the GARMIN Fenix 3 
  • Understanding the Jabra Elite Sport Headphones
  • The challenges for the sensor technology
  • How HRV and 24/7 digital systems in corporate wellness systems are being used to optimize wellness

Top 3 Takeaways From The Show

  • Joni believes it's no longer enough to simply capture and measure data. Whatever you are doing, the wearable needs to provide accurate, consistent, and meaningful feedback that is actually useful. It is now understood by the technology sector that serves the fitness, wellness, and corporate wellness settings that collaborating together to do better is paramount.
  • Firstbeat’s accurate heart rate variability (HRV) based measurement and personal diary provide a window to a client’s well-being. This real personalization via HRV and biometric data is allowing greater coaching and lifestyle modification along the wellness journey.
  • Based on decades of research and work with professional athletes, Firstbeat has created a professional grade coaching tool that helps their clients manage stress, enhance recovery and exercise based off of data that matters.

Power Quotes From Joni

"At any given time there are 15 to 20 different processes in our body that influence our heart rate. We detect those, and out of that we can compose a model of the physiology itself. Once we know what's happening in the body, we can provide much more actionable and insightful feedback for stress, training, fitness level, or sleep recovery." - Joni Kettunen on the Fitness + Technology Podcast

"It's no longer enough to simply capture and measure data. Whatever you are doing with the wearable needs to provide accurate, consistent, and meaningful feedback that is actually useful. It is now understood by our peers that in the fitness, wellness, and corporate wellness settings we must come together to do better." - Joni Kettunen on the Fitness + Technology Podcast

Resources Mentioned From Joni

 

Support This Podcast

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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