THE WEEKLY HOWL DOES NOT HATE TO RUN

Mood lighting: Dimmer lighting in the gym is not a new phenomenon. David Barton Gym has been doing it for years but it does seem to be getting more popular, especially in many of the boutiques.

The positives:

-It feels “special” or like a nightclub

-Low light is flattering

-Members have to focus on themselves instead of people-watching

-It can be adjusted to match changing intensity in the workout

The negatives:

-Studies show that people actually perform worse in low light

-It decreases body awareness and balance

This reminds me of when I run at night. I always feel like I’m flying through the run even though I’m running at the same speed or sometimes slower that I normally do. It feels like I am performing better than I actually am.

Nowhere to run: FitBit is trying to expand from fitness tracking into health tracking. And the first stop on that journey is diagnosing sleep apnea. The challenge with moving into health tracking is that it requires a level of accuracy that fitness trackers have not been designed for. Sleep apnea is a growing market (projected at $6.7 billion in 2021) but I don’t see how this helps them with their Apple Watch problem.

So many pivots: I really enjoyed this interview with the founder of ClassPass, Payal Kadakia. She talked through the history of ClassPass and the many different business models and pricing points that they experimented with. And I guarantee that they are not done tinkering. I believe that some kind of multi-gym membership will be the future of the fitness industry but I don’t think that anyone has figured out how to make that work yet, including ClassPass. Also, I did not realize that she is no longer CEO.

Go Ruck Yourself: How do you go from making backpacks to holding fitness competitions? Jason McCarthy, the founder & CEO of GORUCK, started off designing go-bags for his wife who was in the Foreign Service. After he left the Army, he started a company to sell those bags. Along the way, GORUCK began holding rucking challenges in order to promote those bags. According to McCarthy, GORUCK Challenges are 25% of company revenues but they’re not really making money on them, which means that the challenges are a marketing channel. I am intrigued by the concept of using fitness events to market another product and build a community. This is similar to CrossFit using the Open/Regionals/Games to promote itself but in this case, GORUCK is promoting physical products. Fitness can be an effective way to reach young, affluent consumers i.e. the kind of people that advertisers want to reach. This is probably the reason that I have been having a hard time differentiating between ads for athletic apparel and those for light beer lately.

Favorite quote: “They say that the apparel business is hard. They say everything’s hard. So that just means work hard, be smart, set your mind to it, and you can do it”

Least favorite quote: “Everybody hates to run” Come on Jason.

Really?: Golf has to be the only sport left that criticizes players for working out. I can’t believe that there is still a corner of the athletic world where people still believe that strength training will hamper your performance. Golf has never been the most progressive sport and it is one of the least physically taxing sports but still. And for the record: Tiger Woods wasn’t training to improve his performance on the golf course. He was attempting to live out his dream of being a Navy SEAL without actually enlisting in the military. That is why his performance suffered.

TidBits:

-A comprehensive primer on becoming a morning workout person

-The fallout from CrossFit’s ongoing litigation with the National Strength and Conditioning Association continues

-The CrossFit ecosystem isn’t just affiliates, equipment manufacturers, and apparel companies

-Lebron trains with the BodyBlade in the offseason