In this episode, Rick and Matt talk about some of the fitness fads and trends they have seen over the years and why it’s critical for you to avoid investing in a business model that can “go out of style” or is easily disrupted. There is always something trendy in the fitness space that seems to appeal to people. Fads or gimmicks can occur with trends in technology, equipment, fancy gadgets, fitness concepts, modalities, etc. In addition, they evaluate the Alloy Personal Training Franchise model through the lenses of both the consumer and investor.
If you are getting into the fitness business, either on your own or through a franchise, it is critical to evaluate the business model that you are about to invest in. Before investing in a fitness business, look at the longevity of your chosen model. Most franchise agreements are 10-year contracts, and you wouldn’t want to invest in a trend that does not survive the test of time.
When you look at fitness fads and trend, not only consider the concept from an investor’s perspective but also from a consumer’s perspective as well. In addition, with fitness franchises, you also need to consider the risks of getting into a franchise concept that is based on a fitness fad going out of style in the future. The reason you should be careful with a franchise is you typically sign a franchise agreement that has a specific term and many are 10 year agreements. Do you really want to get into a 10 year relationship based on a fad or concept that is easily disrupted, or that may go out of style?
Some Fitness Fads To Avoid
Technology is developing faster than we can keep up with and may not stay relevant for long. Change is inevitable and can disrupt technology. Take social media platforms and how fast it is changing, we can barely to keep up. If you base a fitness concept on a piece of technology, the risks of change and disruption are inevitable with the new products or services that deliver a better, cheaper, or faster offering.
For example, let’s look at Orange Theory. They came into business at the time that wearable technology jumped off around 2012. They launched a fitness franchise concept based on heart rate training. The thing that should cause you concern as a potential franchise owner is they based the concept on a workout that uses a piece of technology(fitness watches) to measure heart rate training and cardio training. There are many scientific articles that discuss people should focus on more than just cardio training to increase fitness, like include strength training. If you look at the Orange Theory model, you need to consider longevity if you are a potential business owner or franchisee. Do you want to get into a concept where it’s just based on technology and can it stand the test of time? Your concept has to be relevant because you will have a franchise agreement and be tied to that model for 10 years.
Wearable technology has obviously proven to be good recently, but now you’re seeing a lot of competitions and the trends are shifting back to more recovery based wearable technology. A fitness goal isn’t always to go to the gym and drive your heart rate as high as possible, because fat loss isn’t affected by high heart rate cardio workouts alone.
Another point to consider besides longevity is if they base the business on a single type of exercise/modality. If it is, you risk becoming irrelevant when that exercise goes out of fad.
Peter Attia, who is probably one of the foremost anti aging doctors in the world, has books and podcasts where he discusses how to keep people healthy as they age, which is like the Alloy franchise model. Attia focuses on maximizing longevity, and all that goes into that from physical to cognitive to emotional health. If you’re 50, and you’re feeling pretty good, you want to be feeling that good at 70 and you want to still be playing golf or your activities at age 80 too.
Attia has an anti-aging lab, and found the formula for what kind of exercise you should do for longevity. Exercise does something that no medicine can ever do.
The Fitness Prescription For Longevity
1. Strength Training
Sarcopenia, which is a loss of muscle from aging, is a terrible thing. The facts show if you take a fall later in life because of muscular weakness, it’s a health fundamental game changer. He cites studies taking 80 year olds and have them start strength training. Over 3 1/2 months, they gained 1.7 kilograms of muscle. On the other side of the spectrum, he found if you fell and got hurt and you were in the hospital for 10 days, you would lose that same amount of muscle. So it’s really critical as you get older to keep your muscle mass up. So strength training to stave off sarcopenia and keep your muscle mass up is very important. He prescribes types of strength training like compound exercises, but it doesn’t have to be heavy weights.
2. Anaerobic Threshold Training
Using anaerobic threshold as a baseline, spend three hours a week at level two. So for the 45 to 65-year-old age bracket, that would be like an easy bike ride, or maybe a brisk walk. Three hours a week is his suggestion or could adjust his prescription to four days at 45 minutes each, etc.
Our Alloy prescription is similar allowing flexibility in workouts. You don’t need to do aerobic classes like in the 80’s; it is about moving more. Get in your three hours a week by getting out and moving more.
3. Heart Rate Cardio Training
One day a week, get your heart rate up higher. About a 40 minute workout. Again, you don’t have to go out and do a hard run at a high hear rate. You could do a workout that might be based on time or volume or an activity that’s going to get your heart rate higher, which you could count that then as that higher heart rate day.
Dr. Peter’s prescription and the Alloy prescription are similar, with two to three days of strength training, moving more, and getting the high heart rate workout in a week period. Then we work with you to move more outside the gym. That’s it.
That’s literally the Alloy prescription. 100%.
Alloy has been doing this fitness prescription for 30 years. Our concept has proven longevity with this fitness concept, which is our brand promise. What’s great about personal training concept is that it provides accountability and specificity to the individual, and it allows us to be flexible. If relevant new technology presents itself, we’ll use it, but it doesn’t change the brand promise. We do not build the Alloy brand on something that is easily disrupted or go out of fad.
Take the recent pandemic. Everything changed in 12 months with brick and mortar businesses. Alloy isn’t based on a single fitness modality or confined to the brick and mortar building. Safe training protocols are always in place with fewer people training in the fitness space, and fitness prescriptions allow inclusion of flexible fitness training options remotely at home or outdoors with the Alloy App technology.
Tune in to find out how the Alloy model ticks all the right boxes for our target market and how this ensures the longevity of our concept.
- The gimmicky side of the fitness industry (01:56)
- Drawbacks of fitness concepts based on technology (03:54)
- Role of tech in fitness (07:02)
- Risks of single modality concepts (11:43)
- How the Alloy Model compares with other concepts (14:38)
- The Alloy prescription (22:47)
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