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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: August, 2017
Aug 29, 2017

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.

About Marty Weems 

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.

About Stefan Underwood

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.

About Tristan Pierce 

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.

About EXOS 

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.

Listen To Episode 043 As Our Guests Uncovers

  • What is force multiplication in fitness and where does fitness technology plug in? 
  • Skillset: The future of sustainable excellence in the industry lies within the data.
  • Frustration from trainers: "The business I thought I was getting into is not what I thought it was going to be.”
  • Price: Why a race to the bottom on price in fitness facilities makes trainers burn out 
  • Disruption: Being able to force multiply yourself as the coach or trainer through the use of technology to deliver a intimate and powerful experience for the client or athlete.
  • Education: Train The Trainer - Why EXOS has delivered CEC’s for over 10 years with technology 
  • The bleeding Edge of Technology + Fitness: What will we do to connect these gaps? 
  • Destination Business Model: Exploring the delivery model without the 4 walls with traveling teams 
  • Why only 5-6 % of EXOS business exists within the 4 walls of the club 
  • Understanding the Team EXOS Services: 
    • SPORTS PERFORMANCE TRAINING
    • TACTICAL PERFORMANCE TRAINING
    • ADULT TRAINING
    • YOUTH AND HIGH SCHOOL TRAINING
    • PHYSICAL THERAPY
    • ON SITE EDUCATION: including Human Performance Technology
    • NUTRITION 
    • CORPORATE WELLNESS “Journey” Platform 
  • What is the JOURNEY Platform for EXOS?
  • Uncovering Corporate Wellness programs for Google, LinkedIn, ITEL, and a 300+ Staff for the US military bases to keep armed forces healthy and sustainable.
  • Medical Fitness Centers: How will technology and trainers close the gap between gyms and hospitals?

Top 3 Takeaways From The Show

  • Team EXOS reminds us that embracing technology is just the beginning to mass adoption and transformation. For a success, a tech-minded fitness professional must execute on "simple things done savagely well" and not allow themselves to get lost in all the noise and programs out there. Marty Weems reminds us that no matter what tech you use, you must do the things that get the job done each day by executing forward.
  • The danger of technology disconnecting us on a personal level is real, but only if we choose to not be mindful and have high integrity behind the usage of fitness technology tools. Team EXOS believes that when there's an opportunity for human interaction in the club, it needs to happen as part of a great relationship with old-school tools like enthusiasm and customer service combined with some of the most powerful technology we've ever seen.
  • To truly force multiply fitness training it takes an open mind and a clear vision about what is possible when we combine humanity and technology. With the work of team EXOS in an industry with a high value on transforming people's lives through fitness and health, there is no doubt that we are on the path to the most incredible digital transformation of our lives.

Power Quotes From Team EXOS 

"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

Resources Mentioned In 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

Become A FIT-C Podcast Sponsor

Aug 22, 2017

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.

About 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. 

Listen To Episode 041 As Josh Uncovers

  • Why Josh believes that most colleges prepare Club Owners to be "perfection-minded" that hurts them
  • Understanding the real definition of "gamification" in the fitness industry
  • How to use data sets to make female fitness a truly enhanced experience
  • Why having gamification data through automated technology (zero touch from the clients) can up engagement
  • Understanding the key pillars of gamification that prove member success at Delta Life Fitness:
    • Steps (lifestyle)
    • Water (lifestyle)
    • Sleep (lifestyle)
    • Heart Rate (training specific)   
  • How habit tracking will yield not only the optimal results for weight loss, but also when used in a virtual coaching program, will give more revenue opportunities to fitness professionals and clubs
  • How a private Facebook group can radically transform the engagement in a group fitness environment
  • Why Josh believes that having a digital assessment for posture and client intake is pivotal to convert a new member to a lifelong customer
  • What is the mindset of a fitness studio owner when looking at new technology solutions 
  • How the use of a leaderboard in the lobby of a studio can tap into social contagion
  • Understanding the personality types of our female focused exercisers: what do they want and why
  • What it really takes to maintain long-term success using technology as a fitness studio owner
  • What all fitness professional get to pay attention to for fitness technology in 2018 

Top 3 Takeaways From The Show

  • Josh reminds operators and fitness professionals that when it comes to choosing technology to gamify your facility's experience, in order to transcend overwhelm you must keep it simple: know what makes you different, and find one or two really great things that allows you to gamify the process for your niche clientele. Accept that it may not work perfectly the first time and that you may have to revamp a few times to learn what works best. It's not just about people and is not just about technology, you get to accept that it will take time to find the balance between the two.
  • When it comes to the moving the needle of profit through gamification, knowing exactly the type of member you are serving and exactly how you want to serve them is paramount. Josh believes whether you use technology or not, the gamification model has to be driven from specificity to succeed..
  • As the technology around fitness and medical services continue to grow, Josh speaks his truth that the days of trainers and doctors only working face-to-face with clients are about to be a thing of the past. Gamification is one of the necessary components of a bigger ecosystem that will provide apps for a mobile experience that is 100% seamless and based on the data of biometrics. This will allow the professionals to monitor us, the end-users, without us frenetically monitoring ourselves. In the same regard of enhanced medical and fitness service delivery models we also know that the intention of saving people time, money, and delivering better health through new technology will always be more powerful than just the technology itself. 

Power Quotes From Josh

"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

Resources Mentioned From Josh

Thanks To Our Outstanding Sponsors

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

Become A FIT-C Podcast Sponsor

Aug 15, 2017

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.

About 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.

Listen To Episode 041 As John Uncovers

  • Understanding the impact and modern day definition of AI:
    • Cognitive Computing
    • Machine Learning
    • Deep Learning
  • AGI and ASI: Artificial General Intelligence vs. Artificial Super Intelligence
  • Why successful wearables combined with AI enable not distract the fitness consumer 
  • Why John believes that simplicity of design is the most powerful benefit of AI
  • Privacy and personal data: understanding the implications and guidelines for AI
  • Why John believes that augmented reality and artificial reality will combine with artificial intelligence to help grow revenue and customer experience in the fitness industry
  • Understanding "choice or consent policy" when opting into SaaS solutions
  • Understanding Affective Computing: AI and machine learning being designed to measure human emotions 
  • Why club operators must pay attention to the 2018 EU data policy that will affect the fitness industry

Top 3 Takeaways From The Show

  • For our club owners that serve members outside of the United States in 2018, the European Union General Data Protection Regulation Act is the most important change in data privacy regulation we seen in 20 years. Be sure to click in the resources section below to learn more about how this will affect your fitness business.
  • John reminds us that we look at artificial intelligence one of the key factors to consider in how our fitness industry will benefit is by allowing the user experience to be as simple as possible. In a world of multiple data sets and limitless wearable devices, John believes that will separate the great fitness companies from the good is how they will use AI to achieve the most intuitive and simplistic user experiences for their customers. 
  • Regardless of how much you already know at the intersection of machine learning and artificial intelligence, the time to take a serious look at this technology was yesterday. Be sure to contact the Fitness Industry Technology Councilby heading over to the website or sending us a message on Facebook if you have any questions about how this technology integrates into your business so you can serve your customers in the age of exponential technology.

Power Quotes From John

"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

Resources Mentioned From John 

Thanks To Our Outstanding Sponsors

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

Become A FIT-C Podcast Sponsor

 

Aug 8, 2017

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. 

About 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.”

Listen To Episode 040 As Rachel Uncovers

  • How Club operators can deal with overwhelm at the intersection of technology and fitness business operations
  • As a club operator why if you're not delegating, you're being selfish
  • Where to start if a club owner is feeling overwhelmed by depending on your core values 
  • Understanding the new member orientation process and which category the client falls into:
    •  Look better
    •  Feel better
    •  Perform better
  • Understanding the personality types of the new client:  outgoing, introvert, ect
  • Why at Results Fitness, Rachel and her staff send clients an email breakdown of their heart rate training zones after each session or class
  • Why at Results Fitness, Rachel and her staff use handwritten cards and personally written emails for a higher level of service and client experience
  • How beyond giving a phenomenal workout experience, why a personality matrix to understand the type of communication a new member wants and what type of personality they have will create a loyal fitness customer
  • How Rachel uses Facebook to engage current members with "club bucks" and attract new members
  • How to use Facebook to increase the digital literacy of members 50+
  • Why Rachel specializes in working with women and communication in the fitness industry 
  • Why heading into IHRSA with a game plan will be yield more success when researching and discovering new technology platforms for clubs
  • How Rachel transitioned from being a trainer to a business operator: what systems and change were involved

Top 3 Takeaways From The Show

  • Rachel reminds us that when it comes to fitness and technology, change is inevitable. It's part of growth and it's part of 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. 
  • The new member orientation process is pivotal in securing a long-term customer.  Rachel believes that using a combination of personality typing and personalized communication via heart rate monitors, intimate emails sent after workouts, as well as speaking to the new member in the language they most understand will create a loyal customer who becomes an advocate for your fitness facility.
  • As successful club owners like Rachel take a deeper look into the technology solutions that are rapidly entering our space, it's not just about collecting data for data sake. What's most important is that we collect data with the primary intention of constantly improving and enriching the customer experience.

Power Quotes From Rachel 

"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

Resources Mentioned From Rachel 

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
Aug 1, 2017

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.

About 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.

Listen To Episode 039 As Shannon Uncovers

  • How SaaS solutions can seamlessly tie in the scheduling, communication, metrics and substitution of fitness instructors through the cloud
  • Understanding the project management side of GFM/GFI technology: How to give yourself a good timeline and carve out space for implementation
  • Exploring the 3 core competencies of the GFM/GFI landscape
  • How being able to see "past the dollar signs" drives long term revenue and member retention
  • Why GFM's must hire and inspire the right team that's willing to embrace technology first
  • Why setting up technology requires such an interesting skillset
  • Shannon's method for reducing inputs for better outputs: How to distil down to what you need to the desired result
  • Why Shannon believes that core competencies for group fitness is knowing the body and how it works but the other is how they interact connect and communicate with customers 
  • Why Group X are "scared to rock the boat"
  • How technology disruption is changing the GFM/GFI landscape 
  • How to adapt and integrate new technology for serving the group fitness environment 
  • GroupEx Pro® Case Study: YMCA Twin Cities

Top 3 Takeaways From The Show

  • Shannon believes that the technology barriers to entry in the fitness industry have never been lower, but at the end of the day we must to educate fitness professionals and teams about how they are going to use integrity and intention behind the technology. 
  • No matter what technology solution a club deploys, it is essential for leadership to focus on the outcome and ask" "What do we need to do in the on-boarding process and in training to truly get to the outcome we want?" 
  • From 20 years of working in GroupX, Shannon teaches operators to first 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." The biggest core competency of group fitness is ultimately to motivate and inspire people and groups to move more, and more often. The use of cloud-based fitness technology helps to support this by increasing gamification, communication, and engagement to the members that need it most. 

Power Quotes From Shannon

"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

Resources Mentioned From Shannon

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