Personal trainer Jake Koenig reached out to us to request to run a minimum viable product trial of his in-office fitness training service. We’re always glad to help entrepreneurs, and we are a bit obsessed with making our fitness office even more effective, so more than half of our office volunteered to be beta clients. We have a lot of people interested in fitness for geeks. The feedback from our office was very positive, and we’re glad to work with Jake/other personal trainers inside our office (hallways, stairwell) or in a more conventional setting.
Here are Jake’s learnings from the trial:
As a health and fitness coach aiming to convert offices to healthier, movement accessible spaces, ff Venture Capital was an exciting place visit. Already equipped with electronically adjustable standing desks, balance pads, and stability balls, this was a perfect company for mid-day fitness training.
My entrepreneurial thesis was that many people want to improve their physical fitness, but just can’t make the time. Also, many people lack ready access to a gym. An obvious potential solution is physical training in the office.
Ideally, every office would have a fully-equipped gym, or at least a fitness room. However, that’s not realistic for most offices.
There are three main obstacles to exercising at an office that lacks a dedicated facility. Even in ff’s modern, movement-oriented space, I still encountered all of them:
1) The sweat. This is the most common objection I hear to working out in the office. However, for many people, a heart pounding, sweat-dripping workout is not required to have a positive effect. At ff, I gave a 20-minute workout to several employees that elevated their heart rate and fatigued their muscles, but didn’t require a change of clothes. Some chose to bring a change of clothes and engage in an intense workout. I haven’t heard any complaints about their smell from coworkers yet. Some wipes in the bathroom accomplish all the functionality of a shower, plus use fewer environmental resources.
2) Space. Although the number of offices with gyms is growing, the vast majority of companies don’t have them. But with minimal equipment, I gave a dynamic, fun, and customized workout to each member of the ff team in a small hallway.
3) Office distractions and the need for privacy. Trying to talk on a conference call while your colleague lunges in a nearby cubicle is not optimal for either party. We dealt with this at ff by using a hallway, but this may not be ideal. Another option could be a dual-purpose conference room or a stairwell.
The addition of the following equipment would enhance ff’s space to encourage more workout breaks: Several workout mats, dumbbells from 5-15 Ibs, 2 medicine balls (8 and 15 pounds), a bosu ball, and 2 kettlebells- 8 and 12 lbs. The above equipment is inexpensive and does not take up much space, yet a variety of workouts for all levels can be achieved with it.
If you have other suggestions, please add them below in the comments. Thanks again to ff and to all my participants for your time and feedback. I greatly appreciate your help in my pursuit to change the way we think about the office!
For more information on in-office fitness training, contact at jake(@)fityourspace.com
Photo courtesy Alan Cleaver