The future of fitness isn’t home gyms. For some entrepreneurs, it’s the opposite. – News Couple
ENTREPRENEUR

The future of fitness isn’t home gyms. For some entrepreneurs, it’s the opposite.


The pandemic has turned the fitness industry upside down, as have many. The good news is, according to a McKinsey survey, 68% of people are prioritizing their health after a pandemic. The industry will recover, but it will also fully develop.

In response, a group of entrepreneurial companies emerged. Peloton. Mirror. tonal. No wonder these sound familiar. But they’re only one end of the spectrum, home gyms.

On the other hand, there is another type of business. Totally innovative, but they want you out of your house And outside the gym.

Remote work and the desire to be abroad created new expectations of what any experience should be. This is where we find fitness entrepreneurs like Coach Santi, founder of GX3 FitCamp, who not only runs an indoor/outdoor gym, but also manufactures specialized equipment.

Entrepreneurs like Santi were reinventing fitness long before the pandemic. Therefore, the pandemic affected them differently because many of them were already thinking differently. I had the opportunity to meet Santi and learn about everything from the relationship between space and ideas, to manufacturing, to the future of fitness.

Shaka Poker: What leads to your style of fitness?

Santi coach: My own experience in gyms told me that something was missing. The physical design did not support the exercises I wanted. Some are very small and feel suffocating. If the gym is too big, you can’t quickly switch between different types of exercise. Internal/External solves that. Small enough to customize, yet feel spacious. I used to train people at local gyms but couldn’t shoot videos because management wouldn’t allow it. But I wanted marketing videos. I solved this with my outdoor workouts at first, then eventually my indoor/outdoor space. As an entrepreneur, you sometimes solve a smaller problem, but that leads to a bigger idea.

poker: How can a fitness entrepreneur differentiate himself in a seemingly well-established industry?

Santi: Ask yourself, “What exercise do I wish I could do the most, but for some reason I can’t?” For me it was sand. Beach exercises. Therefore, the GX3 has a huge sandbox that allows us to strengthen muscles and tendons with exercises that you cannot do any other way. I suggest finding a suitable place but expanding in this area. A lot of our workouts focus on strengthening the glutes. This may seem narrow. But within that, I train athletes, rehab, lose weight, endurance, work with youth teams and lead couples workouts. I also wanted to feel at peace. The exercise should be physically challenging but being outside brings mental balance. Mind-body connection is important, and our surroundings influence that.

poker: How has the pandemic affected your business?

Santi: This is where hard work meets opportunity because I didn’t expect this. I started this before the pandemic and the pandemic has fueled it so much that we are turning away from people. There were people who preferred “social distancing” before the pandemic. They did not like crowded spaces. I wanted a space with more flexibility, and it turns out that to succeed in times of uncertainty, you need flexibility. This is a life lesson, but it is also a business lesson.

poker: You are not just a trainer, you are also building custom equipment. Why are you moving away from your core business?

Santi: I don’t see it that way. When I train clients I always see a better way to do things, but then I usually don’t find a solution in the market. So, I just started creating my own products. None of that happens if I don’t have my unique space. For me, being a fitness entrepreneur is like a world. The gym is my lab. It allows me to test prototypes and explore ideas in real time.

poker: What did you learn about equipment manufacturing?

Santi: Sharing your vision is crucial. But finding a manufacturer who is open to your vision and gives you feedback is the key to making great products. I like to mess around. Always do a thorough test on your product before spending a lot of money. Find a manufacturer that will allow you to make small rounds. Don’t let the manufacturer force you to stick to huge orders when your product hasn’t been tested to see if there’s demand. It’s important to have a factory that doesn’t just create a product because you want it a certain way. If they see a better way to build it, they should bring it to your attention.

poker: What are some mistakes I made?

Santi: Move too fast. In the tech industry, the motto is “move fast and break things”. You have to be careful with this idea. I rushed to bring a product to market without taking time with it at the gym, then realized it needed a change, and ended up spending money to improve it. If I had been patient, and used my GX3 “lab” here the way I should and got the feedback, I would have saved time and money.

poker: Any tips about patents or licensing?

Santi: Test, test, test. Test on a variety of people. The more functional things your product can do, the more likely you are to get your patent. Having a utility patent and design on the same product enhances protection over your product and gives you the ability to negotiate if you ever decide to license your product.

poker: Where is the fitness industry headed in the next five years?

Santi: Real estate is changing, so the way we think about space is going to change. People are already experimenting with spaces like gas stations and converting them into indoor/outdoor gyms, and it will continue to be. When you break away from the concept of a room with machines, you start to take apart other things. So you first remove the walls to create space. But then you start thinking about changing equipment because the space is different. Who knows where this leads? But like I said, successful entrepreneurs start with one problem and end up with a bigger idea.

Conversation has been edited and condensed for clarity.





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