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  • Roger Yao

Fintess Equipment Industry News - Week 37


Fitness industry news weekly
Fitness Industry news - week 37

1.Peloton "instantly" kills man by severing artery, lawsuit claims

The family of a 32-year-old New York man, Ryan Furtado, claims he died as a result of his Peloton exercise bike just six months after purchasing it. They filed a lawsuit alleging that while doing a "core" workout on the bike, Furtado disembarked briefly and, upon getting up and grabbing the bike for support, it spun around and struck his neck and face, severing his carotid artery and causing instant death. The New York Police Department found the bike on top of him when they arrived. Peloton insists that Furtado's own negligence caused the accident and his death. This lawsuit was filed in March 2023 by Furtado's mother, seeking unspecified damages.

While Peloton had faced a child fatality linked to its treadmill in March 2021, this incident marks the first known fatality associated with the company's popular exercise bike. Following the news, Peloton's stock shares dropped about 3% in trading.

In response, a Peloton spokesperson expressed condolences to the Furtado family, emphasizing the company's commitment to member safety. Furtado's mother alleges that the bike was defective and unreasonably dangerous in design, instruction, and warning.

Peloton, however, contends that it is not liable, placing the blame on negligence by one or more parties other than themselves. They argue that their actions or inactions were not the proximate cause of the injuries or damages alleged in the lawsuit.

It's worth noting that Peloton had previously faced recalls of its exercise equipment, including one related to a faulty seat post on the Bike and another linked to the Tread+ treadmill after a child's death and numerous injuries. These recalls had financial implications for the company and potentially led to subscription cancellations by members, as noted in their most recent earnings report ending June 30. (CBS news)

2.W3Fit heads to the US with new event slated for September 2024

We Work Well, the organizer of hosted buyer events, is expanding into the US with an event called W3Fit North America in 2024. This event, scheduled from September 8 to 11 at the Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa in San Diego, will replicate the successful W3Fit EMEA event launched in 2021 and led by industry veteran David Zarb Jenkins, a co-founder.

We Work Well, founded in 2019 by Monica Helmstetter and Lucy Hugo, aims to revolutionize hosted buyer events by incorporating wellness into the attendee experience. This includes features like power breaks, exercise sessions, and healthy food options.

The company initially focused on the spa and wellness industry with W3Spa EMEA and North America events before expanding into health and fitness with W3Fit and the hospitality sector with W3Hospitality.

W3Fit EMEA, the sister event to the new North America launch, is scheduled from October 10 to 13 this year at the Le Meridien Lav in Split, Croatia.

Monica Helmstetter noted that W3Fit North America will represent the next generation of hosted buyer events, centered around wellness. The event will bring together US health club operators and industry suppliers for one-on-one meetings, community building, and a sense of purpose.

The timing for the launch is seen as opportune, as the founders have observed emerging trends, technological advancements, and ongoing innovations in the health and wellness sectors. The convergence of fitness and wellness in gyms and health clubs aligns well with the event's goals.

Cameron Close, the Global Wellness Director at We Work Well, has been appointed as the Event Director. His extensive industry experience, including seven years at Orangetheory Fitness, will contribute to the event's success.

3.Orangetheory taps into strength training boom – launches Strength 50 class

Orangetheory Fitness is introducing a new 50-minute class called Strength 50, designed to cater to all fitness levels and tap into the strength training trend. The class is divided into Total Body, Upper Body, and Lower Body segments, using TRX, various weights, bands, and bodyweight exercises to build skill and strength. It has gained interest from nearly 10,000 waitlisted members after beta testing.

Strength 50 is a departure from Orangetheory's iconic 60-minute workout, focusing on heart rate-based interval training. Orangetheory believes that many customers will do both workouts, with the strength and improved technique gained from Strength 50 enhancing performance in Orangetheory 60.

To coincide with the launch of Strength 50, Orangetheory has partnered with self-love influencer Danae Mercer Ricci to promote the "Long May We Gain" pledge, shifting the narrative around fitness goals from what can be lost to what can be gained. Consumers are encouraged to share their gain goals on social media using the hashtag #LongMayWeGain.

Orangetheory will also offer free Strength 50 classes on "Gain Day" (National Weightlifting Day) on September 23 in the US to promote the new class and the positive message behind it.

Orangetheory, which currently operates 1,500 franchises in 50 US states and 23 countries, has ambitious plans for global expansion, aiming to add 100 more locations this year, with 300 more in the pipeline.

4.Kevin Yates joins Lift Brands as COO – tasked with growing Snap Fitness

Lift Brands has appointed Kevin Yates as the Chief Operations Officer for its EMEA leadership team. In this role, Yates will oversee the operations of the franchised fitness operator Snap Fitness in the UK and Ireland. His responsibilities include managing all aspects of Snap Fitness business, with a specific focus on improving brand performance with franchisees and driving brand development.

Yates expressed his enthusiasm for his new role, highlighting the strategic phase Snap Fitness is entering, with plans to open multiple new locations in the coming months. He intends to leverage his business expansion experiences to support franchisees in achieving significant growth and progress in their businesses.

Lift Brands has also appointed Kristen Horler as the Head of Sales, where she will play a vital role in expanding the Snap Fitness brand alongside Yates.

These appointments coincide with Lift Brands' confirmation of 12 new Snap Fitness openings in the UK and Ireland by early 2024, bringing the total number of gyms to 102, with further expansion plans in the pipeline.

Lift Brands' global CEO, Ty Menzies, emphasized Snap Fitness's rapid growth, positioning it as the sixth largest fitness operator in the UK, with projections indicating a rise to fourth place in the next year.

Kevin Yates previously served as COO at 1Rebel and was the founder of Trib3e, a boutique fitness operator that consolidated its operations to its Spanish base earlier this year, though Yates still retains a stake in the business.

5.Metropolitan announces its 2023-2024 gym expansion plan

Metropolitan, a premium gym chain, has unveiled its expansion plan for 2023 and 2024, involving the addition of five new centers. The first of these centers, set to open in December, will be situated in Sant Just Desvern, Barcelona. Following that, in early 2024, another center will open in the Pleniluinio shopping center in Madrid.

The new gym in Sant Just Desvern will span 4,000 square meters and require a €5 million investment. It marks the reactivation of Metropolitan's expansion plan after no new openings throughout the year. This addition will bring the total number of centers in Barcelona and its metropolitan area to eight.

In January 2024, Metropolitan plans to continue expanding with a 4,500-square-meter facility in the Plenilunio shopping center, Rejas, Madrid, requiring a €3 million investment. This club will feature various amenities, including an outdoor functional training area, a 25-meter indoor pool, solarium terrace, paddle tennis courts, Spa, Restaurant, coworking area, and Beauty Center.

Additionally, it will offer directed activity rooms for classes such as CrossMet, HIIT, HBX, Cycling, Yoga, Pilates, and Dance. The Spa-Spa section will include a Turkish bath, sauna, cyclonic shower, hot and cold water pools, and water jets.

After the Plenilunio opening, Metropolitan will have three centers in Madrid, in addition to those it already owns on Abascal Street and the NH Collection Eurobuilding Hotel.

Metropolitan also has three more clubs in the pipeline, set to open in iconic locations inside and outside Spain, expected to become a reality in 2024.

Currently, Metropolitan operates a total of 19 clubs, with 18 in Spain and one in Nice. The newly announced expansion projects for 2023-2024 will bring the total number of clubs to 24 by the end of 2024, both in Spain and abroad.

The premium gym chain Metropolitan is under the leadership of CEO Arturo Castro and CEO of Operations Rafael Cagigos.

6.Basic Fit announces the opening of 22 gyms in a single day in Spain

On September 4, 2023, the Head of Basic-Fit in Spain, Sebastian Taylor, announced the extraordinary opening of 20 new gyms in a single day, with an additional two set to open in September. This move is part of the chain's plan to have 140 centers in Spain by the end of September and to establish a network of 450 to 650 establishments in Spain by 2030.

Basic-Fit's announcement of 22 new gym openings in a single day, with two more in September, sets a world record in the fitness industry. These 24 new centers will strengthen Basic-Fit's presence in 8 Autonomous Communities in Spain.

By the end of September, Basic-Fit aims to have 140 gyms in Spain and has a long-term goal of opening 450 to 650 clubs in Spain and 3,000 to 3,500 across Europe by 2030. This expansion demonstrates the company's commitment to the Spanish market, where it employs 650 people and receives over 1.5 million monthly visits to its gyms.

Basic-Fit currently operates more than 1,300 gyms in six countries and has been rapidly expanding since opening its first gym in Spain in 2011. Sebastian Taylor, the Director of Operations of Basic-Fit in Spain, emphasizes the company's goal to make fitness a fundamental part of people's lives.

Basic-Fit's facilities offer various training areas and state-of-the-art equipment, catering to the evolving needs and preferences of its customers. As the demand for fitness facilities continues to grow, Basic Fit strives to provide the best possible experience, ensuring a comfortable and safe environment for its patrons.

7.CAROL Bike Indoor Smart Bike First to Introduce AI-Personalized REHIT Workouts

In August 2023, CAROL introduced an innovative AI-enhanced exercise bike designed to revolutionize fitness routines. The CAROL Bike offers incredibly efficient workouts, taking just 90% less time compared to regular cardio exercises, all while providing double the health and fitness benefits. The bike's AI-powered workouts are personalized, easy to follow, suitable for all age groups and fitness levels, and are based on two 20-second sprints, along with warmup, recovery, and cooldown periods. This approach makes it possible to complete a tailored workout in as little as 5 minutes, marking the first time such a Reduced Exertion High-intensity Interval Training (REHIT) workout is available outside of a scientific lab.

Carol bike
Carol bike

The CAROL Bike, short for "Cardiovascular Optimization Logic," was developed by CEO Ulrich Dempfle in collaboration with leading scientists, including Dr. Neils Vollaard and Professor Lance Dalleck. Ulrich's previous experience in managing chronic diseases led him to create a more accessible and efficient way for people to engage in cardiovascular exercise.

The CAROL Bike's signature workouts offer impressive benefits, including burning twice as many calories per minute compared to traditional cardio exercises, thanks to the extended afterburn effect that lasts up to 3 hours post-workout. These workouts also promote the development of more mitochondria and increased blood plasma volume, enhancing heart health. Research shows that just three short CAROL Bike sessions per week can lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, decrease triglycerides, and increase good cholesterol (HDL).

Scientific evidence supports that the CAROL Bike can improve an individual's VO2max by 12% within 8 weeks, reducing the risk of mortality and morbidity. VO2max measures one's maximum oxygen consumption during exercise, making it a key indicator of fitness. The bike's AI personalization ensures it caters to users of all fitness levels, from beginners to advanced athletes.

The CAROL Bike offers a variety of 20 scientifically-proven workouts and fitness tests, allows users to stream content like Netflix, connect to other cycling apps, and join a community of over 20,000 riders, including wellness experts like Dave Asprey, Ben Greenfield, and Dr. Michael Gervais. The bike is priced at $2,595 and can be purchased on their website: This groundbreaking product aims to make fitness more convenient and effective for everyone, ultimately promoting better health and well-being.

8.Xponential Fitness strikes deal with Gympass, detail three-year operating targets

Xponential Fitness has presented its three-year operating targets during its first Analyst and Investor Day at the New York Stock Exchange. CEO Anthony Geisler revealed ambitious goals for the company by 2026, including 500 new openings, North America system-wide sales of US$2.33 billion, revenue of US$405 million, and Adjusted EBITDA of US$190 million.

The company aims to achieve profitability by increasing its system-wide sales from an average of approximately US$400,000 per site in 2022 to around US$500,000 per site in 2026. Xponential typically takes 9 percent of these sales in addition to franchise and other fees.

Geisler also announced a partnership with corporate wellbeing platform Gympass, which will offer inventory from all ten of Xponential's brands on its app from October. This collaboration will allow franchisees to fill spare class spaces, attract customers from the high-value corporate wellness sector, and generate additional revenue. Gympass, valued at US$2.4 billion, already has a significant corporate customer base and operator partnerships.

Additionally, Xponential has enlisted the mobile-first marketing agency VaynerMedia, led by Gary Vaynerchuk (Gary Vee). Each Xponential brand will have its own content plan to increase awareness, capture new audiences, and optimize marketing expenditure.

Despite a recent share price drop, Xponential remains on track to meet its forecasted Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for 2023, including 540-560 studio openings, revenues between US$295 and US$305 million, Adjusted EBITDA between US$102.5 million and US$106.5 million, and system-wide sales between US$1.385 billion and US$1.395 billion. Despite recent fluctuations, the company's share prices have increased by 56 percent over the past five years.

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Roger Yao (

Fitness equipment Expert
Roger Yao


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