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The Leisure Media Company Ltd | Fit Tech promotion
The Leisure Media Company Ltd | Fit Tech promotion
features

Innovation: Bio Hacking

Silicon Valley hacker Dave Asprey used his tech skills to gather the latest fitness kit to create a bio hacking boutique. Kath Hudson investigates

Published in Health Club Management 2019 issue 5

How did Upgrade Labs come about?
It was created by Dave Asprey, a computer hacker from Silicon Valley, who was the first person to put anything on the internet. He spent so much time working and not enough time on his health, that he ballooned to 300 lbs, causing him to experience terrible fatigue and brain fog.

After a year of intense dieting and exercise, he decided to put his computer hacking skills to good use to solve the puzzle of his body, figuring that the body is like hardware and the brain is like software. So, he travelled the world in pursuit of better health.

He returned to Santa Monica and opened a coffee shop – selling his turbo-charged beverage, Bulletproof coffee – while filling his house with tech that amplifies health.

It was the type of stuff that was only previously used by the super wealthy or professional athletes, not the public. Wanting more people to benefit, he acquired the store next to his coffee shop and spent $2m (€1.77m, £1.5m) on equipment, which was when I asked for a job.

I’d spent 15 years in the health and fitness industry, most recently as a master trainer for the POUND workout (see HCM March 2019, p 12), which involved constant travelling from continent to continent.

My task was to figure out the concept, the programming, the customer journey and the costings and also to find staff who were able to deliver the concept. We launched the business in 2017.

Tell us more about Upgrade Labs
It’s more space age laboratory than a health club. Highly-trained “biohackers” use cellular-level data to develop individualised custom plans for high performance in brain, body and recovery. There’s no guesswork – machines crack the code and accelerate results. Performance is constantly monitored and programmes are adapted to maximise results.

Do people work out or relax when they visit?
It depends on their goals. Fifteen minutes twice a week on The Cheat Machine is all that’s needed to build strength and endurance. It’s like lifting weights, but the machine works out the appropriate amount of weight for both the push and the retraction.

On the flip side, the PEMF (Pulsed Electro Magnetic Field ) is all about recovery, detoxing, energising and reducing inflammation – it pulls with the earth’s magnetic field and re-energises the body on a cellular level.

The technology can induce the benefits of three hours of exercise in just 30 minutes, as the machines tell the body how to respond. Members lose fat and build muscle without breaking a sweat or raising their heart rate.

How does the membership work?
People can either come for an hour and use one machine (US$75, €66, £57); purchase an hour with a trainer who will curate the experience (US$175, €155, £134); or monthly memberships start at US$500 (€442, £382) a month, rising to US$3,500 (€3093, £2672), depending on how often they want to use it.

Who are the members?
There’s now an amazing mix. We started with high performers like celebrities and elite athletes; then the very affluent professionals came in; they were followed by people with injuries and those in the midst of a health crisis. We’re now starting to see ourselves spread to the general public. People are willing to pay the price to go away feeling better after just one session and with a report card about their health.

However, we want to take the concept more mainstream and we’re currently looking at ways to offer it at a lower price point. Firstly, I’m working on a group exercise model so that our biohackers can work with multiple people at one time. As we’re planning a large-scale rollout, we’ve also developed relationships with equipment manufacturers to drive the cost down.

What are the expansion plans?
Orangetheory is our inspiration: its CEO, Dave Long, has been massively supportive and shared a lot of their learnings. So, we’re looking to follow them and are setting our pie-in-the-sky figure at 1,000 locations worldwide. We also already have 200 people interested in franchising if we decide to go that route.

We’ve just opened our second site in January, at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, which is 6,000sq ft (372sq m) and includes 15 cutting-edge technologies, with custom packages suited to the location, such as getting ready for the red carpet and decreasing travel fatigue.

Flagship stores, like Santa Monica, will need a footprint of 4,000-6,000sq ft (372sq m to 557sq m), as they have an integrated medical complex. We envisage there’s scope for 40 of these worldwide, in major cities like London, New York and Sydney.

Added to this, we’ll offer a smaller model of 2,500sq ft, (232sq m), with the working title of Express Labs. These will be significantly more affordable, with less equipment and could work in any city.

Amanda McVey
"The technology can induce the benefits of three hours of exercise in just 30 minutes, as the machines tell the body how to respond - Amanda McVey, vice president, Upgrade Labs"
EXPERIENCE OFFERINGS

Road Warrior Reset: For before or after travel. Claimed to eliminate jetlag and boost the immune system

Red Carpet Radiance: An ‘internal detox’, billed as leading to ‘glowing, toned skin, increased energy and a calm mind’

About Last Night: Designed to purge toxins, rehydrate and repair damage caused by a big night out

Sweat: 60-minutes which are claimed to be the equivalent of a week’s worth of exercise

Custom: A 60 minute experience involving any three technologies from the recovery or strength labs

Pricing for monthly memberships

Cryo
$500, €442, £382 (unlimited)

Fire & Ice
$750, €663, £573 (unlimited)

Silver
$600, €530, £458 (one session a week)

Gold
$1080, €955, £824 (two sessions a week)

Platinum
$1440, €1273, £1099 (three a week)

Diamond
$3500, €3094, £2672 (up to seven a week)

Equipment

Cryotherapy chamber
Three minutes in a -250 degree Fahrenheit chamber boosts the immune system and releases endorphins

Redcharger
Infrared lights promote muscle recovery, decrease inflammation and boost mitochondrial function

Bone trainer
Strengthens bones by applying optimal biomechanics and bone compression.

The Cheat Machine
Adaptive resistance technology, which gives the benefits of a week’s worth of weightlifting in two 15 minute sessions

Atmospheric Cell Trainer
Futuristic pod which changes the air pressure to work the cellular energy system

Oxygen Trainer
An oxygen mask that alternates between high and low oxygen, giving the lungs a good workout and saturating cells with oxygen. It’s used with an exercise bike

Cold HIIT
This is currently being tested by NASA for space flights to Mars. It combines compression and cooling technology during a HIIT session to allow individuals to push beyond limits and recover faster

The Vibe
G-forces penetrate every muscle fibre to make them vibrate at 30 times a second, allowing a complete workout in a few movements

BreathE EZ
Breathe in specially charged EZ water vapour to repair cells

PEMF
Through vibration and the earth’s magnetic pull, the Pulsed Electro Magnetic Field promotes cell regeneration

Sign up here to get Fit Tech's weekly ezine and every issue of Fit Tech magazine free on digital.
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Content providers have been hugely active in the fit tech market since the start of the pandemic. We expect the industry to move on from delivering these services on a ‘broadcast-only’ basis as two-way coaching becomes the new USP
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Laurent Petit

Co-founder, Active Giving
The future of sports and fitness are dependent on the climate. Our goal is to positively influence the future of our planet by instilling a global vision of wellbeing and a sense of collective action
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Adam Zeitsiff

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We don’t just create the technology and bail – we support our clients’ ongoing hybridisation efforts
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Anantharaman Pattabiraman

CEO and co-founder, Auro
When you’re undertaking fitness activities, unless you’re on a stationary bike, in most cases it’s not safe or necessary to be tied to a screen, especially a small screen
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Looking to level up your HIIT game? Meet the dynamic duo that’s about to revolutionize your workouts: the StairMaster HIIT Rower and HIIT Ski! Read more
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Lockers
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features

Innovation: Bio Hacking

Silicon Valley hacker Dave Asprey used his tech skills to gather the latest fitness kit to create a bio hacking boutique. Kath Hudson investigates

Published in Health Club Management 2019 issue 5

How did Upgrade Labs come about?
It was created by Dave Asprey, a computer hacker from Silicon Valley, who was the first person to put anything on the internet. He spent so much time working and not enough time on his health, that he ballooned to 300 lbs, causing him to experience terrible fatigue and brain fog.

After a year of intense dieting and exercise, he decided to put his computer hacking skills to good use to solve the puzzle of his body, figuring that the body is like hardware and the brain is like software. So, he travelled the world in pursuit of better health.

He returned to Santa Monica and opened a coffee shop – selling his turbo-charged beverage, Bulletproof coffee – while filling his house with tech that amplifies health.

It was the type of stuff that was only previously used by the super wealthy or professional athletes, not the public. Wanting more people to benefit, he acquired the store next to his coffee shop and spent $2m (€1.77m, £1.5m) on equipment, which was when I asked for a job.

I’d spent 15 years in the health and fitness industry, most recently as a master trainer for the POUND workout (see HCM March 2019, p 12), which involved constant travelling from continent to continent.

My task was to figure out the concept, the programming, the customer journey and the costings and also to find staff who were able to deliver the concept. We launched the business in 2017.

Tell us more about Upgrade Labs
It’s more space age laboratory than a health club. Highly-trained “biohackers” use cellular-level data to develop individualised custom plans for high performance in brain, body and recovery. There’s no guesswork – machines crack the code and accelerate results. Performance is constantly monitored and programmes are adapted to maximise results.

Do people work out or relax when they visit?
It depends on their goals. Fifteen minutes twice a week on The Cheat Machine is all that’s needed to build strength and endurance. It’s like lifting weights, but the machine works out the appropriate amount of weight for both the push and the retraction.

On the flip side, the PEMF (Pulsed Electro Magnetic Field ) is all about recovery, detoxing, energising and reducing inflammation – it pulls with the earth’s magnetic field and re-energises the body on a cellular level.

The technology can induce the benefits of three hours of exercise in just 30 minutes, as the machines tell the body how to respond. Members lose fat and build muscle without breaking a sweat or raising their heart rate.

How does the membership work?
People can either come for an hour and use one machine (US$75, €66, £57); purchase an hour with a trainer who will curate the experience (US$175, €155, £134); or monthly memberships start at US$500 (€442, £382) a month, rising to US$3,500 (€3093, £2672), depending on how often they want to use it.

Who are the members?
There’s now an amazing mix. We started with high performers like celebrities and elite athletes; then the very affluent professionals came in; they were followed by people with injuries and those in the midst of a health crisis. We’re now starting to see ourselves spread to the general public. People are willing to pay the price to go away feeling better after just one session and with a report card about their health.

However, we want to take the concept more mainstream and we’re currently looking at ways to offer it at a lower price point. Firstly, I’m working on a group exercise model so that our biohackers can work with multiple people at one time. As we’re planning a large-scale rollout, we’ve also developed relationships with equipment manufacturers to drive the cost down.

What are the expansion plans?
Orangetheory is our inspiration: its CEO, Dave Long, has been massively supportive and shared a lot of their learnings. So, we’re looking to follow them and are setting our pie-in-the-sky figure at 1,000 locations worldwide. We also already have 200 people interested in franchising if we decide to go that route.

We’ve just opened our second site in January, at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, which is 6,000sq ft (372sq m) and includes 15 cutting-edge technologies, with custom packages suited to the location, such as getting ready for the red carpet and decreasing travel fatigue.

Flagship stores, like Santa Monica, will need a footprint of 4,000-6,000sq ft (372sq m to 557sq m), as they have an integrated medical complex. We envisage there’s scope for 40 of these worldwide, in major cities like London, New York and Sydney.

Added to this, we’ll offer a smaller model of 2,500sq ft, (232sq m), with the working title of Express Labs. These will be significantly more affordable, with less equipment and could work in any city.

Amanda McVey
"The technology can induce the benefits of three hours of exercise in just 30 minutes, as the machines tell the body how to respond - Amanda McVey, vice president, Upgrade Labs"
EXPERIENCE OFFERINGS

Road Warrior Reset: For before or after travel. Claimed to eliminate jetlag and boost the immune system

Red Carpet Radiance: An ‘internal detox’, billed as leading to ‘glowing, toned skin, increased energy and a calm mind’

About Last Night: Designed to purge toxins, rehydrate and repair damage caused by a big night out

Sweat: 60-minutes which are claimed to be the equivalent of a week’s worth of exercise

Custom: A 60 minute experience involving any three technologies from the recovery or strength labs

Pricing for monthly memberships

Cryo
$500, €442, £382 (unlimited)

Fire & Ice
$750, €663, £573 (unlimited)

Silver
$600, €530, £458 (one session a week)

Gold
$1080, €955, £824 (two sessions a week)

Platinum
$1440, €1273, £1099 (three a week)

Diamond
$3500, €3094, £2672 (up to seven a week)

Equipment

Cryotherapy chamber
Three minutes in a -250 degree Fahrenheit chamber boosts the immune system and releases endorphins

Redcharger
Infrared lights promote muscle recovery, decrease inflammation and boost mitochondrial function

Bone trainer
Strengthens bones by applying optimal biomechanics and bone compression.

The Cheat Machine
Adaptive resistance technology, which gives the benefits of a week’s worth of weightlifting in two 15 minute sessions

Atmospheric Cell Trainer
Futuristic pod which changes the air pressure to work the cellular energy system

Oxygen Trainer
An oxygen mask that alternates between high and low oxygen, giving the lungs a good workout and saturating cells with oxygen. It’s used with an exercise bike

Cold HIIT
This is currently being tested by NASA for space flights to Mars. It combines compression and cooling technology during a HIIT session to allow individuals to push beyond limits and recover faster

The Vibe
G-forces penetrate every muscle fibre to make them vibrate at 30 times a second, allowing a complete workout in a few movements

BreathE EZ
Breathe in specially charged EZ water vapour to repair cells

PEMF
Through vibration and the earth’s magnetic pull, the Pulsed Electro Magnetic Field promotes cell regeneration

Sign up here to get Fit Tech's weekly ezine and every issue of Fit Tech magazine free on digital.
Gallery
More features
Editor's letter

Into the fitaverse

Fitness is already among the top three markets in the metaverse, with new technology and partnerships driving real growth and consumer engagement that looks likely to spill over into health clubs, gyms and studios
Fit Tech people

Ali Jawad

Paralympic powerlifter and founder, Accessercise
Users can easily identify which facilities in the UK are accessible to the disabled community
Fit Tech people

Hannes Sjöblad

MD, DSruptive
We want to give our users an implantable tool that allows them to collect their health data at any time and in any setting
Fit Tech people

Jamie Buck

Co-founder, Active in Time
We created a solution called AiT Voice, which turns digital data into a spoken audio timetable that connects to phone systems
Profile

Fahad Alhagbani: reinventing fitness

Let’s live in the future to improve today
Opinion

Building on the blockchain

For small sports teams looking to compete with giants, blockchain can be a secret weapon explains Lars Rensing, CEO of Protokol
Innovation

Bold move

Our results showed a greater than 60 per cent reduction in falls for individuals who actively participated in Bold’s programme
App analysis

Check your form

Sency’s motion analysis technology is allowing users to check their technique as they exercise. Co-founder and CEO Gal Rotman explains how
Profile

New reality

Sam Cole, CEO of FitXR, talks to Fit Tech about taking digital workouts to the next level, with an immersive, virtual reality fitness club
Profile

Sohail Rashid

35 million people a week participate in strength training. We want Brawn to help this audience achieve their goals
Ageing

Reverse Ageing

Many apps help people track their health, but Humanity founders Peter Ward and Michael Geer have put the focus on ageing, to help users to see the direct repercussions of their habits. They talk to Steph Eaves
App analysis

Going hybrid

Workout Anytime created its app in partnership with Virtuagym. Workout Anytime’s Greg Maurer and Virtuagym’s Hugo Braam explain the process behind its creation
Research

Physical activity monitors boost activity levels

Researchers at the University of Copenhagen have conducted a meta analysis of all relevant research and found that the body of evidence shows an impact
Editor's letter

Two-way coaching

Content providers have been hugely active in the fit tech market since the start of the pandemic. We expect the industry to move on from delivering these services on a ‘broadcast-only’ basis as two-way coaching becomes the new USP
Fit Tech People

Laurent Petit

Co-founder, Active Giving
The future of sports and fitness are dependent on the climate. Our goal is to positively influence the future of our planet by instilling a global vision of wellbeing and a sense of collective action
Fit Tech People

Adam Zeitsiff

CEO, Intelivideo
We don’t just create the technology and bail – we support our clients’ ongoing hybridisation efforts
Fit Tech People

Anantharaman Pattabiraman

CEO and co-founder, Auro
When you’re undertaking fitness activities, unless you’re on a stationary bike, in most cases it’s not safe or necessary to be tied to a screen, especially a small screen
Fit Tech People

Mike Hansen

Managing partner, Endorphinz
We noticed a big gap in the market – customers needed better insights but also recommendations on what to do, whether that be customer acquisition, content creation, marketing and more
More features