GET FIT TECH
Sign up for the FREE digital edition of Fit Tech magazine and also get the Fit Tech ezine and breaking news email alerts.
Not right now, thanksclose this window
Life Fitness (UK) Ltd | Fit Tech promotion
Life Fitness (UK) Ltd | Fit Tech promotion
Life Fitness (UK) Ltd | Fit Tech promotion
features

Profile: Sohail Rashid

Strength training is popular with gym goers, but there hasn’t been an easy way for the community to connect. The founder of the Brawn app tells Fit Tech about his plans to increase participation and enhance the powerlifting experience

Published in Fit Tech 2023 issue 1

How did it all start?
After university I went into law and ran a property legal firm for a few years. I then moved into technology and for 12+ years have been running tech and data businesses within the property and financial services sectors.

Why Brawn?
I started strength training when I was 30 – wanting something in my life away from work and family that I could be proud of. I fell in love with the sport and quickly learned that powerlifting gives you so much back.

The lifting community was very supportive and large but lacked a single point solution that could bring everybody together. My vision was to create a platform that could improve the sport for lifters at all levels and attract more people, similar to how Strava, Peloton and Zwift have in other sports.

How did you turn the idea into a reality?
The global lockdowns created an opportunity and I felt it was the right timing for change – for me personally and for the sport. I'm not shy of hard work or scared of failure and if I believe in something I’ll give it 100 per cent and go all in.

I worked on Brawn around my full-time job and family – we have two young boys. This was tough and I barely had time for anything else, but knew it was one of those moments where I just had to make it happen.

The idea progressed to involve a small team and we went on to build a beta version in 2020. The initial plan was to test this with 200 UK powerlifters so that we could learn more about what they wanted from the app. We ended up filling the 200 spots in 48 hours and then quickly had a waiting list of 1,000+ lifters from all over the world. After securing investment in early 2021, we scaled the team and launched the mobile apps in May 2021.

Tell us about the user experience
Brawn helps lifters analyse training and competition data, connect with other lifters from across the world and compete in all kinds of ways, with fun challenges, as well as virtual and traditional competitions. The app is data rich; we have the most complete data set in powerlifting. If you've ever done a competition then your competition data and lifter profile is already there waiting for you to claim it!

How does it make powerlifting more accessible?
One of our key features is Virtual Events, which enables lifters to compete on a global level – we’re currently hosting the world's largest ever powerlifting event through the app. Lifters can participate via video submission from anywhere in the world and we already have 1,000+ people signed up.

This has attracted interest from countries where lifters wouldn't normally be able to compete internationally because they don't have the resources or means to do so. We’re seeing new lifters from places such as El Salvador, Bangladesh and Nauru going head to head with well known lifters from the UK and USA.

Tell us about your partnerships
Our partnership with the International Powerlifting Federation (IPF) and Eleiko allows us to connect with the largest powerlifting federation in the world. All parties share the vision to grow the sport and we believe Brawn can help to attract more grassroots participation in powerlifting.

Both organisations immediately recognised what Brawn was trying to achieve. We’re now hosting global IPF virtual events and we are very excited and proud to be working with such large stakeholders in the sport so soon in our journey with Brawn.

Where are your users located?
We only very recently launched the platform globally – prior to that we were operating in the UK only. We now have thousands of users from all over the world, but the majority of our audience is currently UK- and US-based.

What's the business model?
The app is free and it’s US$40 to participate in one of our virtual events.

Can health clubs get involved?
We’re already working with a number of independent gyms. Our ‘groups’ feature enables lifters to connect with other lifters at the same gym, so they can follow who's lifting what each week.

This is hugely valuable for gyms, as it helps to create and connect a community that shares a passion but wouldn't be able to connect otherwise, as they train at different times of the day and week.

For gym members it provides extra motivation, encouragement and purpose to training. Gyms, clubs and coaches play an important role in growing the sport and are an important partner for Brawn.

We believe 35 million people participate in barbell strength exercises weekly. We want Brawn to help this audience achieve their goals and improve the experience of lifting.

More: www.brawn.co.uk

Sohail Rashid, founder of the Brawn app

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
Funxtion, the leading B2B digital fitness content SaaS platform company, and CycleMasters, the best in direct-to-consumer indoor virtual cycling experiences, are joining forces to help gym operators elevate their member experience.
In a bid to better connect members to trainers and vice versa, Fitness First UK has integrated Fisikal’s world class personal training functionality into its digital ecosystem.
Pyramids Centre enhanced thanks to Technogym, BH Live & Portsmouth City Council
Technogym
H Live has grown rapidly since 2010, operating leisure sites, sports and entertainment venues across Dorset, Hampshire and London. Read more
TANITA is the founder of Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA) being the first to bring a ...
Perfect Gym currently provides fitness software solutions to customers in 55+ countries, servicing more than ...
Management software
trade associations
On demand
Salt therapy products
Flooring
Funxtion, the leading B2B digital fitness content SaaS platform company, and CycleMasters, the best in direct-to-consumer indoor virtual cycling experiences, are joining forces to help gym operators elevate their member experience.
In a bid to better connect members to trainers and vice versa, Fitness First UK has integrated Fisikal’s world class personal training functionality into its digital ecosystem.
TANITA is the founder of Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA) being the first to bring a ...
Perfect Gym currently provides fitness software solutions to customers in 55+ countries, servicing more than ...
Pyramids Centre enhanced thanks to Technogym, BH Live & Portsmouth City Council
Technogym
H Live has grown rapidly since 2010, operating leisure sites, sports and entertainment venues across Dorset, Hampshire and London. Read more
Get Fit Tech
Sign up for the free digital edition of Fit Tech magazine and the free weekly Fit Tech ezine
Sign up
Management software
trade associations
On demand
Salt therapy products
Flooring

latest fit tech news

Black Friday, which falls on 25 November, will be one of the busiest retail days of 2022, marking the start ...
news • 24 Nov 2022
Kevin Yates, founder and CEO of Trib3 has been awarded Entrepreneur of the Year in the Great British Entrepreneur Awards. ...
news • 23 Nov 2022
A list of 250 of the UK’s most popular gyms on Instagram has crowned Psycle in Oxford Circus the most ...
news • 23 Nov 2022
Sport for Health, a collaboration between The World Health Organization (WHO), FIFA and Qatar’s Ministry of Public Health, has released ...
news • 22 Nov 2022
Google’s Health Connect is now accessible to the public in beta mode and can be downloaded from Google Play. The ...
news • 18 Nov 2022
Connected rowing company Ergatta has released a new gaming experience called Vortex which has been designed to 'level the virtual ...
news • 17 Nov 2022
Fit+ is aiming to operate at least 1,000 clubs by 2027. The staffless gym franchise currently has 208 studios across ...
news • 14 Nov 2022
Corporate wellbeing platform Gympass has released a new report called The State of Work-Life Wellness. After surveying over 9,000 employees ...
news • 09 Nov 2022
Politicians in the UK are taking part in a physical activity challenge hosted by UK Active and Myzone. The friendly ...
news • 07 Nov 2022
Warner Bros. Discovery Sports (WBD Sports) and metaverse services provider Infinite Reality have entered into a multi-year agreement that will ...
news • 07 Nov 2022
More fit tech news
features

Profile: Sohail Rashid

Strength training is popular with gym goers, but there hasn’t been an easy way for the community to connect. The founder of the Brawn app tells Fit Tech about his plans to increase participation and enhance the powerlifting experience

Published in Fit Tech 2023 issue 1

How did it all start?
After university I went into law and ran a property legal firm for a few years. I then moved into technology and for 12+ years have been running tech and data businesses within the property and financial services sectors.

Why Brawn?
I started strength training when I was 30 – wanting something in my life away from work and family that I could be proud of. I fell in love with the sport and quickly learned that powerlifting gives you so much back.

The lifting community was very supportive and large but lacked a single point solution that could bring everybody together. My vision was to create a platform that could improve the sport for lifters at all levels and attract more people, similar to how Strava, Peloton and Zwift have in other sports.

How did you turn the idea into a reality?
The global lockdowns created an opportunity and I felt it was the right timing for change – for me personally and for the sport. I'm not shy of hard work or scared of failure and if I believe in something I’ll give it 100 per cent and go all in.

I worked on Brawn around my full-time job and family – we have two young boys. This was tough and I barely had time for anything else, but knew it was one of those moments where I just had to make it happen.

The idea progressed to involve a small team and we went on to build a beta version in 2020. The initial plan was to test this with 200 UK powerlifters so that we could learn more about what they wanted from the app. We ended up filling the 200 spots in 48 hours and then quickly had a waiting list of 1,000+ lifters from all over the world. After securing investment in early 2021, we scaled the team and launched the mobile apps in May 2021.

Tell us about the user experience
Brawn helps lifters analyse training and competition data, connect with other lifters from across the world and compete in all kinds of ways, with fun challenges, as well as virtual and traditional competitions. The app is data rich; we have the most complete data set in powerlifting. If you've ever done a competition then your competition data and lifter profile is already there waiting for you to claim it!

How does it make powerlifting more accessible?
One of our key features is Virtual Events, which enables lifters to compete on a global level – we’re currently hosting the world's largest ever powerlifting event through the app. Lifters can participate via video submission from anywhere in the world and we already have 1,000+ people signed up.

This has attracted interest from countries where lifters wouldn't normally be able to compete internationally because they don't have the resources or means to do so. We’re seeing new lifters from places such as El Salvador, Bangladesh and Nauru going head to head with well known lifters from the UK and USA.

Tell us about your partnerships
Our partnership with the International Powerlifting Federation (IPF) and Eleiko allows us to connect with the largest powerlifting federation in the world. All parties share the vision to grow the sport and we believe Brawn can help to attract more grassroots participation in powerlifting.

Both organisations immediately recognised what Brawn was trying to achieve. We’re now hosting global IPF virtual events and we are very excited and proud to be working with such large stakeholders in the sport so soon in our journey with Brawn.

Where are your users located?
We only very recently launched the platform globally – prior to that we were operating in the UK only. We now have thousands of users from all over the world, but the majority of our audience is currently UK- and US-based.

What's the business model?
The app is free and it’s US$40 to participate in one of our virtual events.

Can health clubs get involved?
We’re already working with a number of independent gyms. Our ‘groups’ feature enables lifters to connect with other lifters at the same gym, so they can follow who's lifting what each week.

This is hugely valuable for gyms, as it helps to create and connect a community that shares a passion but wouldn't be able to connect otherwise, as they train at different times of the day and week.

For gym members it provides extra motivation, encouragement and purpose to training. Gyms, clubs and coaches play an important role in growing the sport and are an important partner for Brawn.

We believe 35 million people participate in barbell strength exercises weekly. We want Brawn to help this audience achieve their goals and improve the experience of lifting.

More: www.brawn.co.uk

Sohail Rashid, founder of the Brawn app

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