FIBO Focus | March 15, 2020

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Daniel Palacios

is bringing his Live Kinetically concept to the world of fitness.

Piloxing: Female Power in the Gym Bracamonte: From Fitness to Wellness



FIBO FOCUS • March 16, 2020





fter all of the 4 a.m. wakeup and recording sessions, countless phone calls, even more emails and hundreds of video editing hours, the sweat equity that Daniel Palacios has put into creating his vision is allowing his many clients to “Live Kinetically,” a philosophy and outlook on life and fitness that many others in the business would do well to emulate. Palacios’ journey to this point, however, is not an easy one to mirror. His education was a combination of exercise sciences, kinesiology and athletic training and for the first six years of his career he worked for a sports performance facility. While that experience certainly laid the groundwork for his current efforts, it also convinced him his vision did not include working for someone else. “Working as an employee has its perks, certainly, but with it can come a certain level of comfort and 2


contentment that just never sat well with me,” he explains. “I saw the rigidity of only being allowed to follow a particular system too

restrictive and contrary to what I began learning on my own. “I never want my education to get in the way of my learning

Daniel Palacios is putting his “Live Kinetically” philosophy into action.

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The Kinetic Training team’s target client is “all human beings,” anyone searching for a correct life/work/fitness balance. and questioning is just part of my nature,” he adds. That’s what led him to leading service/product providers such as Weck Method and Kabuki Strength Lab, which forced him to really question a lot of what he had learned. “They lit a fire in my mind that couldn’t be quelled and once I kept drilling deeper into their training concepts, there was no turning back,” Palacios explains, pointing out that he had always wanted to get into education and become “a trainer of trainers” because that was the surest way to make an impact and reach more people. He also saw a significant need for trainers to feel equipped with the knowledge to become confident with using new tools and applying new



principles. This in turn forced him to really learn basic video production skills, which then allowed him to delve into product education. In 2017 he embarked on the process of starting Kinetic Training, which in turn brought him to the elite strength and conditioning facility Rienzi Strength and Conditioning, owned by Dwayne Johnson’s trainer. This became his opportunity to work on building his educational programs and developing product and service partnerships. (Along the way he also became the primary strength and conditioning consultant to the Broward Police Academy for the past five years to prepare South Florida’s finest for a career as tactical athletes.) Palacios maintains that he has left

no stone unturned in this quest and along the way learned the art of asking himself, “Why not?” The Art of An Open Mind “Allowing myself to open my mind and explore the possibilities of what the industry had to offer was extremely liberating and has taught me far more than I could have imagined,” Palacios says. That question also led him to relationships with companies such as Torque Fitness, Inertiawave and Aqua Training Bag that have started friendships he envisions lasting a lifetime. Palacios developed his Live Kinetically philosophy years ago while working at his first training job. Knowing that he eventually would like to start his own business, he was

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always the trainer pushing for new ways to improve existing systems, to help people get results more efficiently or bring up a new trainer in a better way. The tagline Live Kinetically stems from the idea that one way or another, anyone can find a way to improve daily. “I didn’t want Kinetic Training to apply only to life in the gym,” he explains. “I want the work that we do in the gym, the conversations we have and lessons learned to permeate your everyday life. I want my clients’ approach to movement, experiences and relationships with intention and seek understanding wherever they can and execute their intentions, with practicality and confidence in their decisions. That’s what it means to Live Kinetically.” Working the Mind and Body An outgrowth of that philosophy is a belief that the mind is just as important to work out as the body. This is where his course and series called “Objectify Your Pain” was born, although he admits he wishes he had known earlier in his career the level of connection that the mind, psychology and emotion had on the biological functions and overall physiology of the body. “I only learned this from years of observing and working with my clients,” he explains. “The great thing is we know that physical activity, movement in general and exercise have a unanimously positive impact in all of these areas and it’s my job as a coach to educate those I work with on the connection between the mind, body and soul. “Teaching people to approach their work in the gym with the intention of translating to their daily life is essential,” he continues, noting that this is especially true with people who have experienced any kind of trauma — physical injury or emotional. “It’s well known that negative emotional experiences can have a significant impact on physical pain,” Palacios

KINETIC KOLLECTIVE EXPLAINED THE KINETIC KOLLECTIVE DEVELOPED BY DANIEL PALACIOS IS essentially a community of like-minded product and service providers in the fields of health, wellness, strength and conditioning built on the Live Kinetically principle. It’s about what individuals can do to push and inspire one another to improve themselves and their companies and to make an impact on anyone who they work with. “One step, one breath, one exercise and one session at a time, we can make a difference,” he says. “By inspiring our customers and 4


clients toward this mentality of physical, mental, emotional and spiritual fortitude, we’re changing lives. This year Palacios is focusing on building on the foundations he has spent the last two years developing — with more than 40 product and service partnerships across innovative and influential companies. He is now looking for additional creative ways to integrate these companies into a cohesive approach that will make a major impact on people’s lives. n

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says. “Giving people the tools and skills to manage this relationship in a practical way that works for them is my main goal.” That could mean working on breathing drills, doing manual tissue work or letting a client unleash fury on a heavy bag. There is no limit to who Palacios believes can benefit from his fitness philosophy. “Calling all human beings,” as he puts it, adding that he truly believes there is a valuable lesson to be learned from every client. The basis for his work is his Movement Signature Analysis, essentially a video recording he takes of each client to educate them on their movement needs. This helps establish a “why” behind their focus on movement quality as a primary goal right from the get-go. He also provides the opportunity for clients to do a FitnessGenes DNA analysis test, which provides

everything they need to know about how their body responds to various types of workouts, along with nutrition and general lifestyle recommendations. This way they don’t waste time working in rep ranges and making nutritional recommendations that simply won’t work very well for them. Competition and Community Here also enters the concept of “community over competition,” an important look at life in a business that is about helping people. Because even though he was a competitive athlete for most of his life – and certainly believes that a little healthy competition is good for everyone – business should never supersede the goal of making people’s lives better. The fact is there are plenty of customers to go around. “It’s our job as service and product

providers to educate and engage potential clients or customers in a way that makes them feel like they’re part of something more,” Palacios says. “We need to focus on staying in our lanes and learn to work together to really serve people’s needs toward a greater purpose of living a strong, healthy, thriving life.” One of his favorite observations about his equipment partners has been seeing the wide range of reactions and responses to working with each tool they provide. Some people just resonate better with certain activities and equipment better than others. It’s like choosing between two cars in the same class, of essentially the same price, and quality. In the end it’s about creating positive brand association and an environment of which your target customer wants to be a part. This “all-in-it-together” outlook

THE INSPIRATION SO WHERE DOES DANIEL PALACIOS FIND HIS DRIVE AND INSPIRATION? For that, he looks no further than his own family. He credits his wife, Laura, and two kids, Arabella and Asher, as his driving forces. As a practical benefit, Laura is a wedding and birth photographer and since Palacios is colorblind without her a lot of his videography work would look all out of sorts. “All jokes aside, making a way for my family and being an example to my kids of what good old-fashioned hard work can achieve is always in the back of my mind,” he says. “I want them to see that anyone can make an impact and achieve success while helping others do the same. “I also rely heavily on prayer and can’t deny that God has played the biggest role in orchestrating events and relationships that are just too serendipitous to be chance.” He describes waking up some days with ideas that can only be described as a “God wink” — imagine God snapping his fingers, pointing at you and winking and all of a sudden, for no apparent reason, you come up with a good idea. “Of course, my many partners all inspire greatness and creativity as well,” he adds. “Their products, business prowess and general awesomeness as human beings has been a sight to behold.” n 5


Laura and their two children, Arabella and Asher.

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Palacios is bullish on the future of the fitness business and sees the rise of the home workout program coming full circle in 2020. on business is vital for the fitness industry as it faces the challenges of increasing costs, led by rents and real estate. The rise of social media, online training systems and innovative in-home gym systems have already begun making their mark on the brick-and-mortar clubs. This is the reason so many clients are shifting away from the big-box gyms to smaller studios and small group training environments. Many people have even foregone gym training or personal training for home workouts written by online coaches. “I don’t think clubs are dead, far from it,” Palacios says. “There is a shift going on and everyone will adapt accordingly. The key here is for the leaders in these clubs and the industry as a whole to step up 6


and become great at using marketing techniques to build value on their current programs through solid foundational education for customers and continuing to keep their training teams on the cutting edge.” Get Social, Or Fall Behind Palacios strongly advises club owners and trainers to learn and leverage the power of social media, to adapt and evolve and to take advantage of so much free information available. Since it is nearly impossible for the layman to separate the facts from false promises or inaccurate information or coaching, savvy trainers can fill that information void. “Mark my words, if you’re resistant to or unfamiliar with utilizing social media to getting your name out

there, you will fall behind and struggle,” he warns. “Love it or hate it there is tremendous psychology in building a social media presence, but the key is using it to establish real impact on those engaging with it,” he says. “Learning to disseminate your quality information through even higher quality production value that looks clean and professional is a game changer. If the presentation looks cheesy, or low budget, then there’s no hook.” Palacios is certainly taking advantage of all of the technology that gives him the ability to produce a quality product. The tough part is making sense of it all and figuring out what will work for any situation. All of this makes Palacios bullish on the future of the fitness business and he sees the rise of the home workout program coming full circle. “You heard it hear first,” he points out. “With technology integrating with the home gym, and connecting coaches to people across the globe, we’re on the precipice of the rebirth of the home workout. Garage gyms are bigger than ever. More and more people are working from home in the age of technology and have less and less time to leave.” More technology-driven training systems are popping up left and right that put a trainer right on the phone. Clubs that can leverage systems such as this and create programs that use their social media to reach more people and promote online driven subscriptions in group and personal training programs, will come out ahead of the trend. “Don’t be afraid to stand out,” he urges. “Take the leap forward into what technology has to offer, learn to Objectify Your Pain, Live Kinetically and you may just realize your 2020 vision.” n


R E B O T C O 1– 4 2020 The leading international trade show for fitness, wellness & health Exhibition Centre Cologne, 1 – 4 October 2020

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ellness has several dimensions, including physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, environmental and social. The Global Wellness Institute reports that the global physical activity economy, which includes sports, active recreation, fitness and mindful movement, is currently valued at $828 billion and it is projected to surpass $1.1 trillion by 2023. These findings show that people are investing more time and resources on their well-being and in active living than previous generations. For the fitness industry, this means increased opportunity and growth of influence. The expansion from fitness to wellness is one way to capitalize on this societal trend. The Ocean Reef Club is a memberowned private community in Key Largo, FL. For the past few years we have expanded our view of



Led by Luis Bracamonte (front, with arms crossed), the Ocean Reef Club team works together to develop a wellness network where everyone wins.

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The menu of fitness offerings at the Ocean Reef Club ranges from traditional to the holistic. fitness into a wellness mindset with great results. This has led to revenue growth of 52 percent over five years while maintaining a member satisfaction score of more than 97 percent as measured by Market Metrix surveys. To do this, our menu of fitness offerings ranges from traditional group exercise classes such as bootcamps, cycling/spin, Pilates, HIIT, strength and cardio fusions, boxing, yoga and dance to holotropic breathing classes, energy medicine workshops, Tai-Chi, yoga therapy, meditation and mindfulness sessions. We also have a holistic doctor who sees patients twice a week in our facility and we welcome several lecturers to 9


provide fitness and wellness education to our members throughout the year. Fitness trainers with different specialties and strengths work with each other sharing clients and have referral networks that include Medical Doctors, Physical Therapists, Registered Dietitians, golf and tennis professionals and License Massage Therapists. When a wellness network of this nature develops, everyone involved wins. To view fitness from the expanded lens of wellness is to pay greater attention to every possible way to improve a person’s life. Our aim as our industry matures should be to

influence more aspects of a person’s well-being. Direct influence comes from our own knowledge and skills and the rest comes from the strength of our network. Wellness is a large umbrella and the possibilities continue to expand. It is up to us to capitalize on this opportunity to grow our operations and improve our communities like never before. n About the author Luis Bracamonte is Director of Fitness and Wellness at Ocean Reef Club — “A Unique Way of Life,” in Key Largo, FL P: 305-367-5820 C: 305-393-9846

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A Look Inside …



ounded by former professional dancer and Pilates

Master Viveca Jensen in 2009, Piloxing is a womenowned global fitness company based in Los Angeles. With a philosophy that “fitness should be accessible,

affordable, convenient, fun and free of pressure to perform,” Piloxing focuses on providing group fitness classes in four differ-

ent programs through training and certifying instructors, as well as offering digital classes. There are currently instructors in most U.S. states and 92 countries. FIBO Focus sat down (virtually, of course) with co-founder and general counsel Natasha Bellroth for a look inside how this unique business operates. (Ed.Note: Director of business development Mia Bjorkroos and Jordan Ballard, director of education and lead Master Trainer, also added some insight into the business as part of the discussion.)



Although we don’t want to focus too much on it, Piloxing is a female-owned and operated company. How did that come about? Natasha Bellroth: Viveca Jensen, Cortney Gornall and I are the three partners and co-founders of Piloxing. Viveca and I are both Swedish and met here in Los Angeles. Viveca had been Cortney’s Pilates instructor and Cortney became mine. When the company was formed, we were very aware of and proud to be three strong women working together to empower women. So what do each of you bring to the partnership? Bellroth: I am an attorney, Cortney is an occupational therapist and Viveca is a Pilates instructor and group fitness instructor. Our skill sets covered all aspects of the business’ needs initially. Once we began to grow, it was a very organic process, as if we all found each other, and we kept bringing more strong women on board. So was that the plan? Bellroth: There are all women on our core team, although that wasn’t a conscious decision. It was all very natural and we now have a team of likeminded, incredibly talented and charismatic women and men inspiring change across the world. How much does being womenowned affect how you do business and structure your classes? Bellroth: Everything. Our approach,

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The women behind Piloxing (left to right): Natasha Bellroth, Viveca Jensen and Cortney Gornall. our mission, our purpose. Being that the programs are created by powerful women, they inherently allow women to discover and embrace all facets of themselves – femininity, power, sensuality, silliness, fierceness – with the result of empowerment. That is what we call the Piloxing Experience. At a company level, we are constantly embracing being women in a male-dominated industry and finding the power and opportunity in that. Other than the all-female management, what else differentiates you from your competition? Jordan Ballard: Our programming. We remain the only group fitness brand that combines the two disciplines of Boxing and Pilates in one experience and we do so fluidly and effectively. That unique fusion has allowed us to establish and sustain a loyal audience. 11


What is your philosophy behind the programs you create? Ballard: In creating all of our programming, we have held ourselves to a very high standard. Our approach is not quick and dirty, not simply pumping out content. Integrity is paramount for us, therefore our programming and continued education, everything we produce, is something we can stand behind. How about from a business perspective? Bellroth: We are very proud of the fact that we are entirely self-funded. However, that which sets us apart can be a blessing and a curse. How’s that? Bellroth: For example, we are invested in every dollar, every decision. That raises the stakes, yet allows us to make decisions with integrity and in keeping with our

mission. We don’t have to answer to investors. It forces us to have a very lean team, yet one that has been with us from day one of expanding, and it allows us to be more agile. You say on your website that you believe fitness should be “accessible, affordable, convenient and free of pressure to perform.” How do you make that happen? Bellroth: It was a conscious decision from the very beginning to be an education provider versus consumer-directed workout content, or a franchise. Rather than franchise or cater to an exclusive demographic, every instructor pays the same entrance fee. They then charge their own rates — they are their own business. What is the ultimate goal with that strategy? Bellroth: The instructor’s ability to

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impact people and create transformation is the goal and bringing that to reality is our obligation. Teaching is a passion project and likely a part-time job for most and it is hugely under-resourced. We have integrated opportunities within our membership to help reduce the financial burden of membership and help to economically improve their overall experience. Inspiring, educating and motivating the instructor, while keeping prices down, that is our goal. So who is your target customer? Bellroth: Everyone. We believe there is a constituency among younger women that we have yet to tap into, an open space in the market. But generally speaking, women ages 25-55-plus are our main audience. Given our programs’ ability to allow that Piloxing Experience, embracing all facets of ourselves, they cast an increasingly wider net. We need to spend time in all of those elements, no matter where we are in our own personal journey. We [women] are

more alike than different, regardless of age, location, demographic. Piloxing has proven that.

instructor and the other participants, and most importantly the instructor can see, interact and correct them.

How has technology allowed Piloxing to reach a global audience? Bellroth: With a reach to 90-plus countries, it is important that we as a company take any necessary steps to support our industry, including gyms and instructors, but also the consumers, without compromising the quality of our offerings. Technology has helped us do so in many different aspects of our business.

How do you ensure the consistency of your training when it is virtual? Bjorkroos: What is important to remember is that for Piloxing quality is of utmost importance and no matter if you take a live in-person training, a live Virtual training or even on-demand training, you can be sure that the quality will not be affected. The delivery method will be different, the experience will be different, but the content and the quality will be the same. Bellroth: Additionally, we have partnered with both Wexer and Fitness OnDemand to offer our classes virtually in the clubs and at home or while traveling. We do not want to detract from live classes, that is important, but we want to provide a competitive and innovative opportunity for instructors and clients to access the experience during their travels and during a time such as now with safety

How about your latest Live Virtual Instructor workshops? Mia Bjorkroos: Our latest tech upgrade was last year when we launched our Live Virtual Instructor training workshops. We live-stream our Virtual Instructor trainings utilizing the Zoom platform, which allows the participants to stay involved and actively engaged throughout the entire eight-hour training day. They can see and interact with the

GETTING SOCIAL, THE MUSIC EXPERIENCE, CURRENT EVENTS What type of social media effort do you have and how does it relate to your overall marketing efforts? Mia Bjorkroos: We have several different strategies when it comes to social media and marketing, including providing valuable content, as well as highlighting our global Piloxing community. We work hard to connect with our Piloxing instructors and their participants to highlight the amazing work that they are doing in their local communities. We love sharing and seeing how their stories inspire people into healthy lifestyles by joining our Piloxing family. What we celebrate most is people organically celebrating their progress and transformation with their communities. They share because they are excited. It is indispensable word of mouth. You also have a music element to Piloxing. Please explain that. Natasha Bellroth: We use every tool in our kit available to inspire the 12


instructor. We have always considered music a critical element to the experience and are proud of our partnership with Power Music. Through this partnership we are able to offer our music through a free app, further enhancing the instructor’s experience. How have current events impacted your offerings? Jordan Ballard: In light of the current global health scare, we are proud to have implemented Live Virtual Instructor Trainings in 2019, with training currently on offer in each of our markets. This has allowed us and our new instructors to proceed with this aspect of our business largely unaffected. A virtual option that allows each of our global instructors to carry on with their classes during this time is also in the works and we look forward to releasing that in the coming weeks. Always striving to be a support system for each of them, this is of the utmost importance in the wake of this unprecedented scenario. n

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Piloxing has put together programs that are proven effective and unique for the past 10 years. concerns. We remain committed to expanding with the trend, yet keeping the live experience a focus. Why should health clubs and trainers utilize Piloxing? What are the benefits to them and their clients? Ballard: Because it works. We have been on the market for 10 years with steady expansion and high retention. Why? Because we have put together programs that are proven effective and unique, coupled with a membership network that supports the instructor — both ensuring their success and providing revenue opportunities. Is that where the Piloxing Club Model comes in? Ballard: The Piloxing Club Model brings the same benefits to the club — an economic approach to comprehensive programming. We know that licensed programming cost is prohibitive for facilities and 13


individual instructors and we want to be the solution. We are constantly striving to improve and expand upon our member experience, to grow and adjust to the ever-changing industry demands. How is Piloxing helping to make the fitness business stronger? Ballard: One of the biggest contributions that we have made to the industry is the focus on and empowering of women. When we began in 2009, that movement had not yet begun. Our programming provided a safe container for women to discover, develop and own their power and femininity and it has been thrilling to watch it be embraced by the industry. When I conducted our first round of instructor trainings in India in 2015, many of the women getting certified had never been to a gym nor worked out. Bringing this experience to these communities all over the world and facilitating that

movement is our fuel, our purpose. How about the men? Ballard: Of course, we have a male contingent and we love men. Their support is a welcomed integration to our mission. Finally, in what direction is your company headed in 2020 and beyond? Ballard: 2020 is yet another big year for Piloxing. In February, we released our newest program – Piloxing BootyBuilder – a collaboration with the eponymous Norwegian equipment brand, marking our first equipment-based program, joint venture and OnDemand Instructor Training option. Our soft launch took place in Vienna and the official launch was a Live Virtual training March 15. Several instructor trainings are scheduled globally, and the OnDemand option will release early summer 2020. n

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FIBO Focus on ...



ymleco was started 1994 in Sweden with an idea to provide the market with commercial strength training equipment focused on long-lasting, functional product with no service costs. This core idea is still

a key pillar as Gymleco works to achieve its vision of a healthier and more sustainable future. The company just entered the market mid2019 and its primary target markets are gyms, health studios, hotels and communities. Its key product lines consist of its plate loaded and selectorized equipment. Gymleco USA is the distributor for South, Central and North America. Here sales manager Martin Martonfalvy explains the unique Gymleco positioning to FIBO Focus. He can be reached at 239-703-6306; mmartonfalvy@gymlecousa.


What differentiates you from the competition? Quality, price and customer service. They are key ingredients in our business. Our equipment stands out when it comes to quality and our warranty clearly reflects that. What is the basis of that warranty? We offer a unique warranty to our customers that clearly defines coverage for various equipment parts. All of our spare parts are kept readily available for quick delivery. A lifetime warranty is provided on all steel frames and weldings, flange bearings, weight stack, engraving, shock absorbing discs in weight stack, weight stack bars, bar hangers and cam shaft. The lifetime guarantee includes fabrication and material errors. What does your “cutting edge European design philosophy and commercial artistry” mean exactly in how your products are made and designed? It means they are space

com; www.gymlecousa.


FIBO Focus: What is Gymleco’s position in the fitness market in 2020? Martonfalvy: We are new to the market, but our aim is to be in the top five brands of gym equipment within five years.

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Gymleco’s cutting-edge European design philosophy means its equipment is space efficient to fit more per square foot. efficient to fit more equipment per square foot. They offer superior range of movement that effectively makes the targeted muscle work at an optimal level. They are engineered to make maintenance and service requirements almost non-existent.

The Gymleco lockers, benches and flooring products are a bit unique from an equipment company. How did that come about? Our philosophy is to be able to deliver all the requirements a gym facility would need, a one-stop-shop if you will.

Who is your target market/ customer? Commercial gyms, home gyms, hotels and communities. How would you characterize the overall fitness industry as we get further into 2020? And how is Gymleco helping to make it stronger? I would say that we are helping the industry by providing equipment with a long life span with minimum service and maintenance, which will help gym owners save money and keep their investment profitable. Finally, in what direction is your company headed in 2020 and beyond in the fitness industry — technology, new products, new markets? Gymleco has a fantastic engineering and a development department and a lot of innovations are expected in the nearby future. We lead, we don’t follow! n