The power trio behind RiseUp Fitness — Kyle Visin, Addie Clarke and Emily Foley — banded together and developed an innovative system in a growing industry that has invoked positive change in how people exercise to gain measurable results.
As Visin told the California Business Journal, “We’ve developed a fitness system that has become a haven for people from all walks of life.”
“In the same work-out session, we can train someone who is brand-new to exercise alongside an elite-level athlete,” says Foley, one of the co-founders and President. “They’re in the same gym, participating in the same class, but they’re working at the correct pace and level for them.”
The RiseUp Fitness system is based on low-impact, high-intensity circuit interval training, where people work out individually at a pace appropriate for them. Participants have the option to wear heart rate monitors measuring their vitals as they work through intervals on cardio machines and perform functional exercises at a variety of strength stations.
“Members have the benefit of multiple cues to keep them on track during the workout,” Visin says. “They can visualize the daily exercises and goals thanks to a bespoke display technology that shows the proper technique for all exercises, which helps keep people safe. Additionally, the instructor leads our members through every aspect of the class to monitor, advise, and motivate in real time.”
In practice, the system allows a person newer to exercise in their 50s or 60s to sit on a rowing machine next to a top-level athlete in their 20s and enables them to work out side by side. They row for the same amount of time, but their goal is adjusted to their individual levels so they can experience success even if their paces and familiarity with the exercise vary.
The RiseUp system rests on the idea that people should not compare themselves to others—as we all come from different backgrounds—but to their own selves. They compete against themselves; the point of reference is their previous results. This helps two people to work for their best performance while working out together. “It is not a race to win, it is a race to a healthier you,” Visin says.
RiseUp Fitness’s clients work out in a supportive environment where motivation is easy to establish and maintain while gaining results. For the founders, the system empowers them to maximize the efficiency of the business with regard to time and resources. It provides an excellent customer experience with one instructor, one class, and many people with varying fitness levels and expertise. The latter aspect makes the business scalable and offers an advantage to investors considering entering the fitness industry.
The two main factors behind the success of the business model is that RiseUp can accommodate a much wider variety of people in the same class than their competitors, who would need to customize classes to the attendees’ level of expertise. Secondly, “the RiseUp Fitness system encourages community feel,” Visin says.
“Our approach differs from going to the gym and working by yourself,” he adds. “That can get lonely and isolate you. On the contrary, during our classes, people support each other. It’s more engaging and more fun. The group atmosphere is critical for many people, and their success in fitness and health may depend on this.”
Winning in a Disrupted Market
The coronavirus pandemic disrupted the very second aspect Visin mentioned. And as much as it changed the fitness industry, as outlets shuttered doors, RiseUp Fitness adjusted to the change, increasing the number of patrons in a period where many businesses fell under.
“One of our greatest strengths as a team is to think as entrepreneurs and pivot when change comes,” Visin says. As social distancing was introduced to curb the virus’s spread, RiseUp Fitness invested in opening an outdoor studio with machines spaced out enough to be safe. “Investing during this time was a gamble,” Visin say. But the team rose to the challenge. As gym-goers had no gyms to visit, they signed up with RiseUp Fitness.
“We’ve learned from the pandemic that to offer excellent customer experience, we have to move beyond work-out routines and pieces of fitness equipment. We need to encourage the community feel,” Visin says.
Today, RiseUp’s technology platform informs people about their workout and progress, while the social element elevates the experience so that members become a part of the community.
Additionally, after the severe waves of the pandemic waned, the strict cleaning policies remained in their outlets. RiseUp Fitness gyms are deep cleaned multiple times a day, and each person who goes in receives a clean towel and a spray bottle to clean the machines and workout stations as they rotate. While this may seem obvious, many gyms still today lack this rigor, and cleanliness is a factor that can easily turn people off and stop them from returning to workouts.
One-stop shop for fitness
The fitness trio describes RiseUp Fitness’s system as a multivitamin. As compared to its competitors, the workouts have a comprehensive approach to help attendees improve all aspects of their overall fitness during the same class.
The classes help patrons improve cardiovascular health, diversify endurance, increase aerobic fitness, establish functional strength, build muscles with weights and resistance training, and strengthen bone health.
While members can attend as many weekly classes as they wish, and the founders suggest doing three to four classes a week for maximum benefit, any amount of RiseUp Fitness exercise delivers proportionate value to people’s lives.
As the classes are an hour long, running all day, even people with busy schedules can easily find a stray slot to fit in a session.
The one-stop-shop nature of RiseUp Fitness provides added value for a franchisee thinking to license the business.
“We converted our physical fitness and business expertise into a franchise package that moves beyond the methodology of exercising. It also includes sales, marketing, customer service, and human resources know-how,” said co-founder and COO Addie Clarke.
As RiseUp Fitness polished its tools and approach and expanded to two locations, in Santa Barbara and North Goleta in California, any franchisee who decides to invest receives an all-encompassing package.
“We are excited to help people with an entrepreneurial mindset enter the fitness industry and offer services that improve people’s lives,” Clarke concludes. “We have a full support system in place to give our franchisees every important aspect to make them successful in this line of work. Our experiences and background give them so much more than just setting up a gym and having a fitness program.”
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