ABC Financial Services is excited to announce the launch of the ABC Financial Fitness Industry Innovation Podcast!
The ABC Financial Fitness Industry Innovation Podcast is for Health Club, Gym, and Fitness Studio Operators, Owners and Professionals. Host Kelly Card brings you interviews with leading global influencers who are at the intersection of fitness, innovation, technology, and operating best practices in the ever-changing, growing, and evolving fitness industry.
You’ll gain understanding, insights, ideas, and the tools you need to stay connected to what matters most for your business, career, and future in the fitness industry.
Paul Schaller: Insights from the CEO of ABC Financial Services
Paul Schaller is the CEO of ABC Financial Services, which he has been a part of for the past 27 years. He is one of the greatest visionaries and connectors in the industry who helped pioneer health club payment processing and club management software for decades. His success comes from continually staying on the frontlines, and genuinely connecting to the pulse of the industry, while building impeccable, long-lasting meaningful relationships with partners and customers.
Paul draws on his years of experience to share his perspective on how the industry has changed over time, and why he continues to remain passionate about serving people in this space. He also provides some insights into the importance of creating great “member experiences” and the key factors that come into play on that front, particularly the connectivity and community aspect. Paul speaks about the trends that are playing out in the fitness industry, what it takes for ABC employees to be able to cultivate raving fans, and his hopes for the future of the industry. Tune in to find out more!
Bryan O’Rourke – Understanding the Fitness Consumer of Tomorrow
Bryan O'Rourke is the President of the Fitness Industry Technology Council, fitness industry thought leader, keynote presenter, investor, and club owner. He has a talent for anticipating trends in the industry technology space, and joins Kelly Card on this episode to share his insights.
The fitness industry is changing - there’s no doubt about that. Kelly and Bryan discuss how the modern fitness consumer has changed in terms of their demands and expectations, and the role of technology in catering to and driving these experiences. They also dive into how business models within the industry are changing, and what the future will look like as the consumer, technology and even the industry itself changes. Tune in to find out more.
Jeff Skeen – Integrating the Medical and Fitness Industries
Jeff Skeen is the CEO Reshape MD, Reshape Labs and Results Redefined. He is a longtime fitness industry innovator and visionary. Jeff has many years of experience running health and fitness chains, including Gold’s Gym International and Fitness Connection, but has recently started a move into the medical space. He joins Kelly Card to share his perspective on changes in these industries.
The fitness industry and the medical industry have long existed in a state of friction, while ultimately serving consumers on the same front — health and wellness. Jeff and Kelly dive into the intricacies of how the medical and fitness industries can complement each other with increased medical connectivity. Jeff also explains his business model with Results Redefined, ReShape MD and ReShape Labs and how this integration of fitness and medicine is redefining “health care” for the modern fitness consumer. Tune in to find out more.
Mike Alpert has been the President and CEO of The Claremont Club since 1997. In his time at the club, he has built an amazing culture and community of caring for and nurturing others, and he is and a man who truly champions the the notion of purpose-driven enterprise better than anyone in the fitness industry. He joins Kelly Card to share his insights about what this means for other players in the fitness industry.
Everybody knows about the benefits of exercise, and Mike has long been passionate about connecting the fitness industry with the chronically injured and chronically ill, particularly the global health initiative Exercise is Medicine®. He shares more about the programs offered by The Claremont Club under this initiative, and how has he engaged fitness and medical professionals at the local and global level to work towards bringing healthcare and fitness together. The Claremont Club is truly a purpose-driven enterprise, working to bridge the gap between the medical and fitness industries and help its clients achieve their health and wellness goals. Tune in to find out more!
Tom Wingert – Disrupting Marketing in the Fitness Industry
Tom Wingert is the Vice President of Marketing at City Fitness in Philadelphia. He is a relative newcomer by fitness industry standards, but has created a tremendous amount of disruption in the past 4 years. He has helped grow City Fitness from 60 employees to 300+ employees, and from 6,500 members to 15,000 members in his short time there, by building and branding beautiful fitness facilities, and is disrupting what digital marketing means in the fitness industry to deliver ultra community-based, hyper-personalized experiences in all of his facilities.
Tom and Kelly discuss some of the innovative marketing strategies that he has implemented for City Fitness, from approaching digital marketing from a different angle to the way he took on his new health club pre-sales. Tom explains more about his inspiration behind being an industry innovator and marketing disruptor, as well as how he has helped transform City Fitness into a community brand that contributes to the lives of the people it serves. Tune in to find out more as Tom shares his insights about upcoming marketing trends in the fitness industry, and the role of technology in creating consumer experiences.
JJ Creegan – A Holistic Approach to Health and Wellness
JJ Creegan is the Chief Operating Officer of YouFit, and was recently named as one of the IHRSA 2019 Rising Stars. He is one of the most innovative purpose-to-profit thinkers in the fitness industry, someone who has mastered scaling operations, and has grown with the industry from a teenager with a part-time job at YouFit, to running over 100 locations.
The modern fitness consumer is increasingly moving toward feeling better and living better, rather than just looking better. YouFit is a company that has aligned itself with this trend with its holistic approach to health and wellness, not just in the programs that they offer, but also from a branding perspective. JJ shares more about how and why YouFit always puts its customers first, and has focused on being customer-centric. He also explains the role of technology in creating better member experiences, and how he is helping the fitness industry evolve in different areas. Tune in to find out more!
Rick Mayo – A Focus on Personal Training
Rick Mayo is the Founder of Alloy Personal Training Systems, which was started in 1992, and was the first ever fitness center dedicated to personal training in his area. He is one of the greatest presenters and tactile deliverers of personal training and team training systems that the fitness industry has ever seen, and is the leading subject matter expert on training. He is also a featured speaker who has presented at many international conferences, and has written countless articles on the business of fitness, while also operating Alloy Training Systems all over the globe.
As more and more clubs start including personal training as part of their gym or club offerings, it is also easier to see that some of them just don’t get it. Rick and Kelly discuss where clubs fail when it comes to training, and how Rick has managed to set the Alloy Personal Training system apart from his competitors. They also dive into the topic of the modern training consumer, and what it takes to cater to their purchasing and fitness preferences. Tune in to find out more about the consumer megatrends that are impacting the fitness industry, and how you can harness the power of technology to create better consumer experiences.
Thomas Plummer – The Business of Fitness Guru
Thomas Plummer is the Founder of the National Fitness Business Alliance, an industry thought leader, author of ten books, speaker and ultimate fitness business guru. He has been in the industry for over 40 years, and shares his wealth of information and experience in the business of fitness with others through his books, workshops and coaching sessions.
A brutally honest advisor and a true visionary in the fitness industry, Thom sheds light on leading numerous controversial movements in the fitness space, and how he has managed to do so time, and time again. He shares why using the same methods of previous years will no longer be sufficient to gain and retain modern fitness consumers, and how clubs need to adapt to the changing times. Thom also explains why the race to the bottom is not a sustainable model for clubs, and why the layering process he teaches leads to far greater success.
Frank Nash – Advice from the Social Media Guru of Fitness
Frank Nash is the owner of Stronger Personal Training and co-Founder of the Secret Trainer Society. He is an international speaker, consults and works with gyms all over the globe, and is also a best-selling author. He always brings a fresh and authentic perspective to the fitness industry, and is also a brand guru when it comes to fitness brands.
In Frank’s fitness business, he sees the gym as a place for creating community and family. He shares more about how he grew his gym from its humble beginnings in 2002 to the power-packed Stronger Personal Training brand today. Frank also reveals how he built up a reputation for being a social media guru in the industry, his strategy for building a sense of community among his gym members, and reveals his secrets for making an impact on social media.
Dave Dos Santos –Creating the Best Fitness Experience
Dave Dos Santos is the CEO of Best Fitness and BFitt60, and is commonly known as the specialist in the fitness experience. He started off as a personal trainer at Gold's Gym back in 2001, before starting his own big box fitness center focused on customer experience. In recent years, he has branched out into the boutique fitness industry, launching BFitt60 to cater to a different demographic.
Dave is a true member experience practitioner and always considers the nuances of human behavior and human nature to craft incredible experiences in his brands. He and Kelly dive into the theme of community and authenticity in the fitness industry — now more than ever, club owners need to find new and innovative ways to stay connected to their clients and provide them with unique member experiences. Dave also shares more about how he has applied technology in context to create authentic member experiences, as well as his predictions for the future of the fitness industry. Tune in to find out more!
John Ford – A Digital Strength Training Routine for Beginners
John Ford is the CEO of eGym North America and was prior the CEO for Netpulse. eGym takes a modern approach to fitness by incorporating technology that can track and present compelling data to its users. By understanding the data and how each person improves week over week, it encourages them to keep going on their fitness journey.
John and Kelly sit down to talk about how eGym works and why it’s become so effective for beginners to get hooked. John is highly focused on those who are just starting their fitness journey because he understands that it can be wildly intimidating for a beginner, who has no clue what they're doing, to get started. Not everyone understands the importance of a personal trainer to help keep you motivated and this is one of the reasons why you often see a high turnover right after the month of January. What we really have is not an exercise problem, but a behavioral science problem, and John explains how eGym can fix that.
Chris Rondeau — Bringing Fitness to Millions
Chris Rondeau is the CEO of Planet Fitness. As one of the most inspirational entrepreneurs and one of the most successful operators in the history of the fitness industry, he shares more about how he helped to pioneer the low-cost gym model by offering memberships at $10 a month, and catering to the first-time health club goer. Today, Planet Fitness is one of the most well-known brands, with 13.6 million members and over 1,800 outlets.
How does a gym brand transition to become an industry sensation? Chris shares more about how he was inspired to revolutionize the fitness industry by lowering membership fees and creating gyms that were catered to the everyday individual who wanted to get fit, instead of top fitness enthusiasts. He reveals the streamlining of the Planet Fitness model to focus on very specific member experiences, as well as why it’s so important to always keep the customer front and center. Tune in to find out more about this incredible fitness brand and the man behind it.
Colin Milner — Supporting the Active Aging Community
Colin Milner is the CEO of the International Council of Active Aging, and a leading authority on health and wellbeing for adults 49 years old and above. He has been recognized by the World Economic Forum as one of the most innovative and influential minds around aging-related topics, and has many insights to share on the topic of supporting and catering to the needs of the active aging community.
Active aging is not about age — it is for anyone who is looking to live a healthier, fuller life. Colin shares more about the 9 Principles of Active Aging that form the foundation of his message to influence government policy and international communities on this topic. He explains the untapped potential that lies within the active aging community in terms of catering to their needs, and how the fitness industry needs to adjust their messaging and advertising to capture their attention. We need to change how we view the aging population — Tune in to find out more about this booming market with great potential!
Adam Stokar — Automation and AI in the Fitness Industry
Chuck Runyon - Empathy and Purpose in the Fastest Growing Gym Brand
Chuck Runyon is the CEO of Self Esteem Brands, LLC, and Anytime Fitness, the world’s fastest growing gym brand. Since its founding in 2002 in a small town in Minnesota, Anytime Fitness has grown to over 4,500 locations serving 4 million members, and is currently on 6 continents. Chuck and his partner Dave Mortenson worked in the 1990s turning distressed clubs into profitable businesses, and realized that they could be streamlining their offerings to cater to the actual needs of their clients and using technology to provide 24/7 access to clients. Thus, Anytime Fitness was born, and today, Chuck is known as one of the industry's most inspiring influencers and heartfelt leaders.
Building a great gym brand is not about the hardware like treadmills and top notch equipment, but about the software of emotion, listening and caring. How has Chuck managed to maintain this culture of empathy across all of his franchise locations? He dives into the role of purpose, and why it’s so important to harness the power of technology to provide the best customer experience possible. Tune in to find out more about how Chuck has scaled culture, and what lies ahead for this incredible brand and its founder.
Sunil Saha — Gamification and Rewards in the Health and Wellness Space
Sunil Saha is the Co-Founder and CEO of Perkville. After completing his undergraduate studies at Stanford, Sunil went on to work with Internet companies such as Yahoo and LinkedIn in the area of product management. He had the opportunity to participate in LinkedIn's staggering growth and he used many learnings from that experience to create Perkville in 2010. Perkville has grown to become the leading gamification and rewards platform in the health and wellness industry.
A loyalty program is a simple, low-cost way to impact club client retention and to increase revenue. Sunil explains how Perkville generates incredible levels of ROI, driving referrals while keeping costs affordable for club owners. He also shares more about how he sees loyalty programs evolving, how they influence consumer behavior through gamification, and his predictions for the future of the fitness industry. Tune in to find out what you can do to start seeing an immediate change in your business too!
Joel Tallman and Jeff Carlson — The 4Rs of Success
Joel Tallman is the President and CEO of MUV Brands LLC, and Jeff Carlson is the Managing Partner of MUV Fitness, Washington and Oregon. From three letters on a sticky-note to a multi-directional franchise that is growing by leaps and bounds, MUV has seen some major successes within the fitness space. MUV is also unique in how it has adopted three different concepts within the same brand, and does a great job of considering the success of the operator in the franchise model. Joel and Jeff are both testaments to how hard work can pay off in a major way in the fitness industry, and have some incredible insights to share.
One thing that consistently sets MUV apart is a dedicated focus on member results and building community. Joel and Jeff explain how this philosophy has driven MUV’s growth and success in the fitness space and differentiated it from competitors. They also shed light on the MUV’s business model, the role of automation and technology in taking the business to new heights, and the 4Rs that underlie the core message of the brand. Tune in to find out more.
Eddie Tock — A Focus on Learning
Eddie Tock is the CEO of REX Roundtables for Executives, a global organization focused on bringing together top level executives and leaders to share ideas and experiences to help move their businesses forward. He runs 12 different REX Roundtable groups across the US with over 150 club owners & executives, 3 in Europe and 4 in Australia and New Zealand. Eddie has long been involved in the fitness industry, and has a wealth of information apart from his eagle eye in spotting trends. The Roundtable sessions are fertile ground for best practices and ideas to emerge from the collaboration and spirit of continuous learning that they foster among some of the leading club operators in the world.
Eddie highlights some of the trends that are emerging in the fitness industry, and the modern fitness consumer trends that clubs are observing. He also reveals the key agendas that the Roundtables focus on: operations, culture, strategy and leadership — as foundations for building better businesses. Tune in to find out more about what business owners should be focusing on to stay relevant and why Eddie believes there is an abundance of opportunity out there — you just have to find it and take action.
Dan Collins - Getting Back to Basics
Dan Collins is the Chief Operating Officer at Charter Fitness, a results-focused club brand with locations in and around Chicagoland.
Join Kelly and Dan as they dive into Dan’s experience in Charter Fitness and the service industry. Learn what has driven Dan’s success, what helps his brand stand out, and how you can apply the same techniques to your clubs. As Dan says: “Stop trying to be what others are.” Listen in to learn more and get your gym back to the basics that matter!
Josh Unfried - End to End Frictionless Buying
Josh Unfried, CEO of Windfarm Marketing, joins the podcast and brings relatable, actionable marketing insights from a successful career in consumer engagement both inside and outside the fitness industry. Learn how to market based on the customer’s point of view rather than your own, how and why to segment your approaches, and the one common mistake Josh sees club owners make across the board.