For episode 049, we're exploring fitness devices, data, and ecosystems that matter with the CEO of Michael Wood Fitness and the CFO of Koko FitClub, Michael Wood. In this podcast, Michael uncovers what he believes is the recipe for success in merging the digital experience with in-person training.
Michael is widely recognized as one the nation’s top strength & conditioning experts. Through his leadership, Koko FitClub started as a integrated software company back in 2005. Not long after, they developed a strength training product with the goal of creating a unique turn-key coaching facility where the need for on-site trainers was to be obsolete. They saw moderate success with this new style of automated coaching, and soon realized that a critical component was missing:
When Koko FitClub realized their digital experience needed to be upleveled to provide their members with both the technology and human connection they were looking for, they innovated a unique way to blend their tech with traditional training and semi-private exercise classes. From these pivotal changes, the members had a one-of-a-kind experience of tracking, coaching, and programming that provided a new and exciting way of working out.
Listen in as Michael also speaks to technology and its role in taking a proactive and holistic approach to our wellness and shares the essential nutrition and mindfulness apps that support monitoring to make lasting changes in health behaviors.
This all-encompassing wellness approach that Koko delivers, inside and outside of the club, shows the true value of providing members with a unique blend of digital coaching, in-person training, and the online tools and resources to transform their nutrition and mindset.
But with the almost endless ocean of new technology, apps, devices, and platforms emerging in fitness and wellness, what are the integral parts of the optimal ecosystem in 2018?
The answer to that question and much more takeaways for club owners, operators, and fitness pros in this episode with Michael.
About Michael Wood
Michael Wood, CSCS, is widely recognized as one the nation’s top strength & conditioning experts. He serves as CEO of Michael Wood Fitness, formerly the Sports Performance Group, founded in 1988. The award-winning fitness-consulting company calls some of the biggest names in the athletic, academic, and entertainment industries their clients. The company has completed more than 35,000 training sessions to date under Michael’s guidance. Michael is also the Chief Fitness Officer at Koko FitClub, LLC, which develops interactive software and hardware for the $60B worldwide fitness and wellness industry. Koko FitClub is a national franchise with currently more than 100 locations throughout the United States and Canada.
Michael’s honors have included receiving the coveted Boston Magazine “Best of Boston” award and in both 2004 and 2005 Men’s Journal named Wood one of the top 100 trainers in the United States. In the December 2004 issue, the magazine also included Michael on their trainer “Dream Team,” comprised of the nine best trainers in the U.S. He is also a member of the Fitness Industry Technology Council and works with clients via the Wellness Roundtable. He is also a former member of Power Bar Team Elite. Michael has also raised money for two scholarship funds when he reached the summit of Africa’s highest peak, Mt. Kilimanjaro (19,340′), in 2008 with Thompson Safaris.
His professional experience includes director of business development and business director at two Velocity Sports Performance franchise locations, and director of strength and conditioning at New England Sports Academy. In addition, he had the great fortune of working as assistant strength and conditioning coach at the University of Connecticut and senior exercise physiologist at the Nutrition, Exercise Physiology and Sarcopenia Laboratory at the USDA-HNRC on Aging at Tufts University. Michael has also consulted for Sage Strategies, LLC, a premier management consulting firm specializing in the health and fitness, as their corporate fitness expert.
Listen To Episode 049 As Michael Uncovers
- Why the fitness industry has seen the numbers of tech devices rapidly increase and how this affects our space
- How the integration of digital coaching and in-person training provide a unique gym experience at Koko Fitclub
- Why he founded Michael Wood fitness, LLC to address the unique demands of the fitness industry
- The mission, vision, and change he is creating with Michael Wood Fitness
- Michael's proven insights from nearly 30 years at the forefront of fitness and wellness technology
- Why human connection was a critical component in the success of Koko's automated member tech
- Koko's Smart Trainer technology that demonstrates various exercises and 30 minute workouts from celebrity trainers
- The "personal USB stick" that allows every member to track data from their workouts
- Why trainers are a necessity on location to assist members with the digital aspects of the club
- Koko's principles of success that ensure they stay above the national average for weekly visits
- The functional training classes that are attracting the younger clientele
- Why Michael believes integrating fitness and lifestyle data into our programs will drive proactive health
- Understanding the "betterment" technology sector what this means to our fitness space
- Using nutrition tracking to produce a sustainable behavior change
- The top nutrition apps that are helping us to eat better, lose weight, and get healthy
- Koko's online nutrition program and tools that provide a holistic wellness experience
- Why Fitbit and Dexcom are partnering to produce continuous glucose monitors
- Using biomarkers and genetic testing to get a deeper picture of our health
- Delivering the personal attention that brings out the best in member experience
- Koko's 3 pillars of individualized coaching:
- How Koko FitClub coaches works closely with members to set goals and outline a realistic plan to get there. They re-establish your body’s natural movement patterns and work to build a foundation of fitness in just a few weeks. This is where you’ll build a workout habit that “sticks”.
- To concentrate on goals, instructors safely increase the intensity of the coached workouts, including total-body strength and cardio conditioning. A personalized nutrition plan will help improve energy and fuel greater results from the workout.
- Reshape the body from the inside out with a sustainable, coached training program designed to burn fat and build lean muscle for life. With just 2-3 sessions a week on average, members feel stronger and leaner with more energy to take on new challenges.
Top 3 Takeaways From The Show
- Michael reminds us of the incredible potential of fitness technology when combined with dedicated coaching and human connection. In an era of exponential technology growth, what is most important to fitness professionals and operators is to understand their unique and signature type of service that utilizes the best-of-the-best in the tech but also formulates a trusted bridge from a member to a dedicated coach.
- Michael shared that Koko's digital coaching model didn't actually find true success until the physical coach was inside the gym. Whether it's for personal training or facilitating the integration of Koko's technology, the human connection aspect is a highly critical piece of their success.
- It's important to remember that fitness begins from the inside out. While of course exercise is an essential piece to any wellness routine, Michael believes we must now pivot in the fitness industry towards a comprehensive wellness approach with a key focus of mindfulness. He recommends apps like Sugar Rush to help regulate our intake and glucose levels, and Inside Tracker to get a better understanding of our biomarkers. But regardless of whatever device or application used it's the true integration of personality, technology, and human connection that will drive a successful ecosystem.
Power Quotes From Michael Wood
"In addition to our digital coaching, the in-person trainer is key for helping members learn our technology and get results in a safe, quick, and effective manner." - Michael Wood on the Fitness + Technology Podcast
"Once we were able to pair our digital experience with a great knowledgeable coach, Koko's success was taken to a new level." - Michael Wood on the Fitness + Technology Podcast
"The best exercise program in the world isn't going to change someone if you can't adjust their mindset and behavior." - Michael Wood on the Fitness + Technology Podcast
Resources Mentioned From Michael
- Michael Wood Fitness
- KoKo FitClub
- Men's Journal
- Velocity Sports Performance
- Khalsa Chiropractic
- 048 Bryan O'Rourke: The Latest In Betterment Technology 2017
- Tufts University
- Under Armour
- Sugar Rush - Discover Added Sugars in Your Food
- 042 Josh Cherry: The Future of Fitness Gamification
- Koko Fuel Nutrition
- Shapa App
- Thomson Safaris
- Mathews McGarry: What is Heart Rate Variability Training?
- Nudge Coach
Thanks To Our Outstanding Sponsors
- Bryan O’Rourke and his family of companies including Vedere Ventures, Integerus 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