Today on the podcast get ready for an in depth interview with not just one, but three high-level fitness industry professionals from EXOS, a leader in the field of human performance employing more than 3,500 people in over 400 locations worldwide.
We're exploring how new technologies are force multiplying the reach and efficacy of fitness professionals to deliver an intimate and powerful experience for both clients and athletes across the world.
This interview is going to inspire you and be quite thought-provoking as we challenge the conventional wisdom in the fitness industry for one of the most powerful conversations we trust this industry must go with the use of technology to finally scale a trainer and a team's services to a level of sustainability through what team EXOS calls "force multiplied fitness training."
As you know if you been listening to the show for a while or if you spent years in our space, the hour-for-hour trainer model is undergoing the largest disruption in over 50 years. In our opinion, it's right on time because there are too many of our fitness professionals leaving the space with an incredible amount of service and passion left inside them. The technology we're discussing today has the power to shift the service models upside down and radically transform how our industry will grow.
You'll learn what force multiplication means to fitness, how technology can multiply a fitness professional's and club's service to clients, how to harness mobile technology and cloud-based services, and why the future of sustainable excellence in our industry lies within the data sets that we're talking about in depth today on the show
Just how much time do we have until the "dream dashboard" comes to fruition, including all the biomarkers, steps, activity, machine learning and artificial-intelligence-coaching combined with the irreplaceable human connection from a professional breaks ground in our space?
The answer to that question and much more takeaways for club owners, operators, and fitness pros in this episode with Marty Weems, Stefan Underwood, and Tristan Pierce on this episode of the fitness + technology podcast.
Marty joined the EXOS team (formerly Athletes’ Performance) in 2006 as its first Vice President of Sales. His business experience includes the telecom, wholesale distribution and pharmaceutical industries before joining EXOS. Since 2009 he has focused on developing international export business to new markets. Marty earned his undergraduate degree at Furman University (South Carolina) in addition to a MS Education and MBA from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. He now specializes in developing strategic solution plans for elite international sports organizations utilizing the services and products of EXOS and its partners.
Marty is a leader in three areas of the business: Education for industry professionals; Consulting and support services for international sports teams; and developing EXOS facilities in foreign markets. Marty’s international business experience includes China, Japan, Taiwan, Mexico, Australia, Russia, Germany, UK, Colombia, Brazil, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, and Israel. As a services exporter, EXOS has been recognized as 2015 “Exporter of the Year” from the City of Phoenix; 2015 “Export Excellence” Award from Arizona District Export Council and 2016 President’s (POTUS) “E” Award for Exporting Excellence. Fast Company magazine has recognized EXOS in its “Top 10 Most Innovative Companies” lists in 3 of the past 7 years.
Stefan Underwood has been with EXOS (Formerly API) since 2011 and brings 14 years of experience as a Performance Specialist to the EXOS team. Currently, Stefan serves as the Director of Continuous Improvement at EXOS, sitting within the Performance Innovation Team.
Underwood oversees all internal education efforts within EXOS. Prior to this latest role, Stefan served as a Performance Specialist for EXOS and applied his diverse skill set to a variety of opportunities including Tactical Education, Performance Education and Movement Coach for the NFL Combine program in Florida. Stefan is a certified USA Track and Field coach (USATF), NSCA Registered Strength and Conditioning Coach (RSCC), and Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS). Prior to EXOS, Underwood has stops throughout his career as the Manager of the NSCA HQ Performance Center in Colorado Springs, the Head Strength and Conditioning Coach for Colorado College Men’s Hockey (NCAA Div 1), and experience working in the private setting with professional athletes from NHL, MLB, UFC, IndyCar, NFL, NBA, Olympic Sport, in addition to extensive experience with youth developmental programming.
Throughout his career he has brought his practical experience and passion for performance to presentations on 4 continents and has been a speaker for EXOS, the NSCA, NASM, and other private events.
Tristan Pierce helps drive the design of EXOS product and programs with thought leadership, research, and cross-team collaboration. His education background is in kinesiology and his professional experience includes two years of product and program design and seven years of performance coaching in a variety of settings with primary focus on general population. He loves to mountain bike, and so far has only had to get stitches once.
EXOS is a leader in the field of human performance, a category it created more than 15 years ago. Today, EXOS employs more than 3,500 people in over 400 locations worldwide. With award-winning facilities, technology, and services, EXOS helps people take control of their health and performance so they can achieve what matters most to them. EXOS is trusted by hundreds of clients, including one-quarter of Fortune 100 companies, world champions in sports, and leaders in health care, military, and community organizations.
"With fitness technology, I still firmly believe in people and the connections between them. One of the elements within our human performance philosophy that we've authored is really about member segmentation. As we start looking at different generations, the first actionable step is to have a very honest appraisal of who your primary demographic is that you're trying to market to by understanding your member segmentations including active aging, youth athletes, and others to identify where they fall is the first part in deciding anything else." - Stefan Underwood on the Fitness + Technology Podcast
"We all know to drive sustainable and impactful change for folks you have to address upstream behaviors. If you do that, then downstream things will start to shift in the right direction. So how can you leverage technology to better understand who a person is across a lot of different critical behaviors that are important to human performance? For fitness professionals, if you can deliver a digital assessment to really understand who someone is and what their habits are, this will empower you as a coach like never before to be able to deliver high value." - Tristan Pierce on the Fitness + Technology Podcast=
"In terms of what to do, first, embrace technology and find the tool or few tools that can work for you and then execute on those. So often it comes down to simple things done savagely well and not getting lost in 500 different evaluation and programming tools. With fitness technology, pick your angle, approach, and methodology and do the things that get the job done each day by executing forward." - Marty Weems on the Fitness + Technology Podcast
For episode 42, we tap into the roots of what technology is making an impact on the floor of one of the fastest growing studios in our space, Delta Life Fitness with CEO, Josh Cherry.
In our previous episodes around fitness studios and making fitness fun through tech and gamification with Lindsey Rainwater and Shannon Fable we've talked about what various cloud-based solutions and tactical approaches are important to create an enhanced user experience, but on today's podcast we take an even deeper dive into what is driving the growth of this up-and-coming franchise that is utilizing data sets for an outside the box gamification fitness experience for the growing niche of female-focused training.
You'll learn from Josh Cherry on this episode how Delta Life Fitness uses a digital leaderboard in the lobby to harness the social contagion factor for their female members to engage inside the four walls and create the emotional hook to make better choices in the other 23 hours of their day.
You'll also learn some of the biggest lessons that Josh experienced firsthand in growing Delta Life Fitness from a hot asphalt parking lot to just a few years later having multiple successful facilities nationwide, what are the three pillars of gamification success for all studios to deploy, how the utilization of private Facebook groups is shifting customer expectations when it comes to real human connection, and why Josh believes that a digital assessment for posture and client intake is pivotal to convert a new member into a lifelong customer.
With all the technology solutions out there that claim to "gamify" the fitness studio experience, what are the most powerful actions that leading-edge facilities are taking through technology?
The answer to that question and much more takeaways for club owners, operators, and fitness pros in this episode with Josh Cherry.
Josh Cherry is the Director of Franchising and CEO and Co-founder at Delta Life Fitness: a women’s only group training workout segmented into intervals of cardiovascular and strength training. By incorporating the science of the female metabolism, Delta Life’s training is specifically designed to maintain a target zone that stimulates metabolism and increases energy.
Josh spent almost 14 years in the Marine corps before helping co-found this female-focused boutique studio and graduated from Texas A&M university.
Led by skilled trainers, participants use a variety of equipment including TRX suspension training, free weights, and battle ropes, burning up to 900 calories including after-burn. The results are more energy, visible toning, weight loss and extra calorie burn post-workout.
Women throughout the United States are seeing the changes, both physically and mentally. As Delta Life Fitness grows, they continue to look for franchisees to assist with their expansion.
"College almost prepares us to be perfection minded, whereas in the Marine Corps, we have to get the job done today with what we have. A good plan executed violently today is better than a perfect plan executed two weeks from now." - Josh Cherry on the Fitness + Technology Podcast
"Successful fitness gamification has to be twofold, both inside the four walls of the club and in what's going on the other 23 hours that you're not in the gym." - Josh Cherry on the Fitness + Technology Podcast
"We've decided that at Delta LIfe Fitness we do not serve the 8 to 80 men, women, and children. We know exactly who we serve and we spend all of our time trying to identify the needs of our clients and building a program specifically designed to maximize the metabolism of our Delta Life Fitness ladies. We don't want to train everyone, we're building one training program for one specific person and by doing that we can really serve that one person well." - Josh Cherry on the Fitness + Technology Podcast
For episode 41, we're take a deeper dive into the ethical considerations of artificial intelligence inside and outside the fitness industry with expert guest John C. Havens and his work at the IEEE: a global technology organization with over a half million members in 160+ countries.
I know you're really going to enjoy this podcast with our expert guest in artificial intelligence, as one of the most requested topics during our IHRSA FIT-C roundtable discussion earlier this year was the technology considerations and policies for artificial intelligence and machine learning in outside industries that are effecting our space.
So whether you are a brand new listener to the show who is an owner, operator, or fitness pro interested in how artificial intelligence will empower you to serve your clients with more context, or you've been listening to the show for a while and will use the information you receive to help drive the change we need in our space, this podcast is delivering much more than just industry trends. It's giving a deeper look towards how artificial intelligence is changing our industry today and in the future.
Make sure to check your show notes by heading over to www.fittechcouncil.org/podcast to take a deeper dive into the resources mentioned that are impacting your career.
With the exponential growth technology is driving in our space, what are the ethical considerations, governmental policies and regulations surrounding the use of artificial intelligence that will impact the fitness industry across the world?
The answer to that very big question and so many more takeaways for club owners, operators, and fitness pros in this episode with artificial intelligence ethics expert, John C. Havens.
John C. Havens is the Executive Director for the IEEE Global AI Ethics Initiative: A Global Initiative for Ethical Considerations in Artificial Intelligence and Autonomous Systems. He is a writer, speaker, activist and consultant focusing on the intersection of technology and culture. John aims to help people increase their wellbeing by taking a measure of their lives.
"No data lives in isolation, and for HIPAA and any other regulations especially in the USA, we have no access to our data. This is not to put down any app creator or organization, because I am a huge proponent for AI, but data access should be up to the individual." - John C. Havens on the Fitness + Technology Podcast
"Well-being can be a confusing term because a lot of people associate well-being with mood, while other people will know there is more of a fitness oriented aspect to well-being as an industry. In the economics of well-being there are indicators like the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals OECD or for environmentalists the Happy Planet Index." - John C. Havens on the Fitness + Technology Podcast
For episode 40 we're pulling back the curtain to see what successful fitness operations and new technologies are creating loyal customers from the co-owner of one of the top 10 gyms in the United States, Rachel Cosgrove from Results Fitness.
For all sizes of clubs across the industry, we realize now more than ever how truly important it is for operators to focus on personalized communication and engagement through social media, email, and text to meet the demands of the fast-evolving customer experience our members are asking for.
In this show, you'll learn from Rachel why she believes it's the hand-crafted emails and time-capped Facebook contests that can deliver high value to members outside the club, what lessons she's learned from over 20 years in fitness, what are the best practices in the transitions from trainer to a successful operator, and why the boomer generation are now requesting more text communication for fitness as their digital literacy increases.
It's clear that even with a high performing facility like Results Fitness and many others, there are still some very large gaps to be filled when it comes to integrating technology solutions seamlessly into both the fitness professional's toolbox and to a customer's journey.
But what does one of the top 10 gyms in America do to for both human touch and technology integration for successful fitness operations?
The answer to that question and much more takeaways for club owners, operators, and fitness pros in this episode with Rachel Cosgrove.
Rachel Cosgrove is the co-owner of Results Fitness, voted one of the top 10 gyms in the United States three years in a row by Men’s Health Magazine. She is a consultant for Nike, on the advisory board for Livestrong.com and Women's Health Magazine, and is a featured columnist for Women’s Health Magazine and the Huffington Post. Rachel is the best selling author of the "The Female Body Breakthrough," and has also been featured in numerous magazines including Men’s Health, Women’s Health, Oxygen and many many more including Dr. Oz.
As one of the featured speakers for Perform Better, she lectures nationally and internationally on topics such as strength training, fat loss, business in the fitness industry and nutrition specifically for women helping them to reach their potential in all aspects of their life.
She is also the best-selling author of the book, Drop Two Sizes: A Proven Plan to Ditch the Scale, Get the Body You Want & Wear the Clothes You Love. Extremely goal oriented, Rachel is always looking for a new physical challenge and draws from experience making her a better coach. Rachel and her team at Results Fitness strive to be the best part of their members’ day every day, achieving results, changing lives, and having fun while doing it. They are on a mission to “Change The Way Fitness Is Done.”
"If you're not delegating responsibility to your staff and trying to run everything on your own, you're actually keeping your team from stepping into roles that they can accel at and bring even more value to your company. When you choose to not let go and have your staff take over the roles they deserve, you're essentially being selfish as an operator." - Rachel Cosgrove on the Fitness + Technology Podcast
"Change is inevitable, it's part of growth and running a business. If you're not somebody who embraces change and who really wants to find a better way constantly, then you're not going to be in business for too long." - Rachel Cosgrove on the Fitness + Technology Podcast
"Members are craving personal connection now more than ever. If we ever start to get replaced by online trainers, artificial intelligence or an app, then the truth is we must elevate our game." - Rachel Cosgrove on the Fitness + Technology Podcast
For episode 39 we take an in depth look at the current landscape to demystify the common misconceptions at the intersection of group fitness operations and technology solutions.
For an increasing number of Group Fitness Managers in 2017, it's the growing demand to seamlessly tie in the scheduling, communication, metrics and substitution of fitness instructors through the cloud that is causing a major disruption in our industry.
To help uncover what will be of most service to our industry's GroupX space, we're learning from the Founder of GroupX Pro, Shannon Fable, an experienced business and program developer in the health and wellness space with over 20 years in the industry who specializes in group fitness operations.
As you'll learn from Shannon, with all the fragmented offerings, types of classes, fitness instructors, number of studios, equipment fees and other variables needed to run a successful Group X program, we identify just how the landscape has changed so dramatically over the past two decades and why now the hardest part for operators is stepping back to understand the best technology solutions and what continuing education courses will support their GFI's.
What are the core competencies for Group Fitness Managers and instructors at the pivotal crossroad of technology, personality, and programming?
The answer to that question and many more takeaways for club owners, operators, and fitness pros in this episode with Shannon Fable.
Shannon Fable is an experienced business and program developer in the health and wellness space. With 20 years in the industry, she has presented and educated in six continents on group fitness, personal training, management, business development and time management.
With a proven track record for assessing needs and developing programs, systems, and structure for a wide variety of businesses in the fitness industry, she has also carved out time to write, mentor, and star in over 25 fitness and management related DVDs.
Shannon is a certified Book Yourself Solid® Business Coach interested in helping fitness professionals navigate the industry and find their place. She owns both Balletone® and Sunshine Fitness Resources. Most notably, along with her developer husband, she co-created and founded GroupEx Pro®, a revolutionary software designed to streamline and operationalize the management and marketing of group fitness programs for health clubs.
"We have a lot of people trying to infiltrate the fitness space that know technology but that don't necessarily understand the nuances of what happens in clubs." - Shannon Fable on the Fitness + Technology Podcast
"It's making sure that you hire and inspire the right team that's willing to embrace technology instead of saying 'this is how we've always done it, let's just keep doing it this way' and I think that's tough, because a lot of group fitness managers and personal training managers don't get into the space from a traditional business background so they may not have had to deal with technology." - Shannon Fable on the Fitness + Technology Podcast
"Setting up technology requires such an interesting skillset because it's not just about being able to utilize the program, it's about being able to see the big picture and what you want to accomplish with the technology, to then distill it down to what you must input to get to the desired output." - Shannon Fable on the Fitness + Technology Podcast