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UNITING THE WORLD OF FITNESS
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Health Club Management

Health Club Management

features

Innovation: Bio Hacking

Silicon Valley hacker Dave Asprey used his tech skills to gather the latest fitness kit to create a bio hacking boutique. Kath Hudson investigates cusapero

By Kath Hudson | Published in Health Club Management 2019 issue 5
Upgrade Labs has opened a luxury club in the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills. The 6,000sq ft facility is the second to launch and included 15 different technologies / PHOTOGRAPHY: zekeruelas.com
Upgrade Labs has opened a luxury club in the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills. The 6,000sq ft facility is the second to launch and included 15 different technologies / PHOTOGRAPHY: zekeruelas.com

How did Upgrade Labs come about?
It was created by Dave Asprey, a computer hacker from Silicon Valley, who was the first person to put anything on the internet. He spent so much time working and not enough time on his health, that he ballooned to 300 lbs, causing him to experience terrible fatigue and brain fog.

After a year of intense dieting and exercise, he decided to put his computer hacking skills to good use to solve the puzzle of his body, figuring that the body is like hardware and the brain is like software. So, he travelled the world in pursuit of better health.

He returned to Santa Monica and opened a coffee shop – selling his turbo-charged beverage, Bulletproof coffee – while filling his house with tech that amplifies health.

It was the type of stuff that was only previously used by the super wealthy or professional athletes, not the public. Wanting more people to benefit, he acquired the store next to his coffee shop and spent $2m (€1.77m, £1.5m) on equipment, which was when I asked for a job.

I’d spent 15 years in the health and fitness industry, most recently as a master trainer for the POUND workout (see HCM March 2019, p 12), which involved constant travelling from continent to continent.

My task was to figure out the concept, the programming, the customer journey and the costings and also to find staff who were able to deliver the concept. We launched the business in 2017.

Tell us more about Upgrade Labs
It’s more space age laboratory than a health club. Highly-trained “biohackers” use cellular-level data to develop individualised custom plans for high performance in brain, body and recovery. There’s no guesswork – machines crack the code and accelerate results. Performance is constantly monitored and programmes are adapted to maximise results.

Do people work out or relax when they visit?
It depends on their goals. Fifteen minutes twice a week on The Cheat Machine is all that’s needed to build strength and endurance. It’s like lifting weights, but the machine works out the appropriate amount of weight for both the push and the retraction.

On the flip side, the PEMF (Pulsed Electro Magnetic Field ) is all about recovery, detoxing, energising and reducing inflammation – it pulls with the earth’s magnetic field and re-energises the body on a cellular level.

The technology can induce the benefits of three hours of exercise in just 30 minutes, as the machines tell the body how to respond. Members lose fat and build muscle without breaking a sweat or raising their heart rate.

How does the membership work?
People can either come for an hour and use one machine (US$75, €66, £57); purchase an hour with a trainer who will curate the experience (US$175, €155, £134); or monthly memberships start at US$500 (€442, £382) a month, rising to US$3,500 (€3093, £2672), depending on how often they want to use it.

Who are the members?
There’s now an amazing mix. We started with high performers like celebrities and elite athletes; then the very affluent professionals came in; they were followed by people with injuries and those in the midst of a health crisis. We’re now starting to see ourselves spread to the general public. People are willing to pay the price to go away feeling better after just one session and with a report card about their health.

However, we want to take the concept more mainstream and we’re currently looking at ways to offer it at a lower price point. Firstly, I’m working on a group exercise model so that our biohackers can work with multiple people at one time. As we’re planning a large-scale rollout, we’ve also developed relationships with equipment manufacturers to drive the cost down.

What are the expansion plans?
Orangetheory is our inspiration: its CEO, Dave Long, has been massively supportive and shared a lot of their learnings. So, we’re looking to follow them and are setting our pie-in-the-sky figure at 1,000 locations worldwide. We also already have 200 people interested in franchising if we decide to go that route.

We’ve just opened our second site in January, at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, which is 6,000sq ft (372sq m) and includes 15 cutting-edge technologies, with custom packages suited to the location, such as getting ready for the red carpet and decreasing travel fatigue.

Flagship stores, like Santa Monica, will need a footprint of 4,000-6,000sq ft (372sq m to 557sq m), as they have an integrated medical complex. We envisage there’s scope for 40 of these worldwide, in major cities like London, New York and Sydney.

Added to this, we’ll offer a smaller model of 2,500sq ft, (232sq m), with the working title of Express Labs. These will be significantly more affordable, with less equipment and could work in any city.

Amanda McVey
"The technology can induce the benefits of three hours of exercise in just 30 minutes, as the machines tell the body how to respond - Amanda McVey, vice president, Upgrade Labs"
EXPERIENCE OFFERINGS

Road Warrior Reset: For before or after travel. Claimed to eliminate jetlag and boost the immune system

Red Carpet Radiance: An ‘internal detox’, billed as leading to ‘glowing, toned skin, increased energy and a calm mind’

About Last Night: Designed to purge toxins, rehydrate and repair damage caused by a big night out

Sweat: 60-minutes which are claimed to be the equivalent of a week’s worth of exercise

Custom: A 60 minute experience involving any three technologies from the recovery or strength labs

Pricing for monthly memberships

Cryo
$500, €442, £382 (unlimited)

Fire & Ice
$750, €663, £573 (unlimited)

Silver
$600, €530, £458 (one session a week)

Gold
$1080, €955, £824 (two sessions a week)

Platinum
$1440, €1273, £1099 (three a week)

Diamond
$3500, €3094, £2672 (up to seven a week)

Equipment

Cryotherapy chamber
Three minutes in a -250 degree Fahrenheit chamber boosts the immune system and releases endorphins

Redcharger
Infrared lights promote muscle recovery, decrease inflammation and boost mitochondrial function

Bone trainer
Strengthens bones by applying optimal biomechanics and bone compression.

The Cheat Machine
Adaptive resistance technology, which gives the benefits of a week’s worth of weightlifting in two 15 minute sessions

Atmospheric Cell Trainer
Futuristic pod which changes the air pressure to work the cellular energy system

Oxygen Trainer
An oxygen mask that alternates between high and low oxygen, giving the lungs a good workout and saturating cells with oxygen. It’s used with an exercise bike

Cold HIIT
This is currently being tested by NASA for space flights to Mars. It combines compression and cooling technology during a HIIT session to allow individuals to push beyond limits and recover faster

The Vibe
G-forces penetrate every muscle fibre to make them vibrate at 30 times a second, allowing a complete workout in a few movements

BreathE EZ
Breathe in specially charged EZ water vapour to repair cells

PEMF
Through vibration and the earth’s magnetic pull, the Pulsed Electro Magnetic Field promotes cell regeneration

Upgrade Labs has opened a luxury club in the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills. The 6,000sq ft facility is the second to launch and included 15 different technologies
Upgrade Labs has opened a luxury club in the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills. The 6,000sq ft facility is the second to launch and included 15 different technologies
Upgrade Labs is looking to develop 1,000 sites by rolling out its full-size concept, and developing a version with a lower price point. A class-based concept is also in the works.
Upgrade Labs is looking to develop 1,000 sites by rolling out its full-size concept, and developing a version with a lower price point. A class-based concept is also in the works.
People are willing to pay the price to go away feeling better after just one session and with a report card about their health
People are willing to pay the price to go away feeling better after just one session and with a report card about their health
Cryotherapy chambers take people down to minus 250o F to boost their immune system and reduce inflammation / PHOTOGRAPHY: zekeruelas.com
Cryotherapy chambers take people down to minus 250o F to boost their immune system and reduce inflammation / PHOTOGRAPHY: zekeruelas.com
One of Upgrade Labs’ more unusual pieces of kit is the Atmospheric Cell Trainer, which changes air pressure to work at a cellular level
One of Upgrade Labs’ more unusual pieces of kit is the Atmospheric Cell Trainer, which changes air pressure to work at a cellular level
The infrared sauna is believed to promote muscle recovery, calm inflammation and boost mitochondrial function
The infrared sauna is believed to promote muscle recovery, calm inflammation and boost mitochondrial function
Equipment has been selected to give maxium results in minimum time
Equipment has been selected to give maxium results in minimum time
Members can buy one-off access to the lab, or commit to a regular membership, with packages from £382/month to £2672/month
Members can buy one-off access to the lab, or commit to a regular membership, with packages from £382/month to £2672/month
http://www.leisureopportunities.com/images/imagesX/524477_784128.jpg
Dave Asprey, Silicon Valley hacker and the creator of Bulletproof coffee has developed a boutique fitness studio, which uses technology to upgrade members’ health
People
HCM people

Andrew Grill

Practical Futurist
Your marketing department will have to start writing ad copy for robots, not for humans. These digital agents will be gatekeepers, a bit like a PA. It’s already happening, so get ahead and start using it
People
HCM people

Martin Seibold

CEO Life Fit Group
Gathering existing, strong brands under one roof to create the new Life Fit Group made perfect sense
People
The Life Fitness entrepreneur and ALS charity fundraiser is returning to the business that made his name
Features
Supplier showcase
Precor’s bikes are bringing success to a wide range of different health and fitness operations, from boutiques to trusts. We look at the latest examples
Features
Fitness foresight
We know trends like wearables, HIIT training and functional fitness are hot, but what’s coming down the track? Liz Terry looks further ahead for the latest edition of HCM’s Fitness Foresight
Features
India
Partnering with established local chain, Talwalkars, David Lloyd Leisure is set to take its luxury, family-oriented clubs to India, with the first location opening in Pune this summer. Steph Eaves spoke to Bruce Gardner and Prashant Talwalkar to find out more
Features
feature
Power Plate is launching a trade in, trade up programme, explains Davide Ferreira
Features
fitness-kit.net
Lauren Heath-Jones rounds up the latest product launches in health and fitness
Features
Ask the experts
The UK health and fitness industry has doubled in size since 2000. Will growth continue, or even gather pace? And what does this mean for the European health and fitness market? How big could it grow and what factors will have an impact? HCM asks those who have the most up to date research
Features
Body scanning
Will the body image debate define the future of fit-tech? Becca Douglas looks at the evidence
Features
Latest News
Fitness franchise Fit Body Boot Camp has revealed that it has more than 200 new ...
Latest News
DW Fitness First has launched its new Kit & Collect service, aimed at increasing secondary ...
Latest News
Teenagers' 'incessant' use of social media is radically reducing the time they spend sleeping and ...
Latest News
Wattbike has secured a deal to supply more than 30 Bupa Health Clinic sites across ...
Latest News
Fitness franchise YourZone45 has concluded a second round of funding, as it prepares to expand ...
Latest News
Leisure trust Active Nation has expanded its portfolio of budget gyms with the acquisition of ...
Latest News
Thousands of people at risk of Type 2 diabetes will be given digital support – ...
Latest News
New research has provided a possible explanation for the perceived decrease in endurance musculature as ...
Job search
POST YOUR JOB
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: Eleiko makes deadlifting more accessible with the Öppen Deadlift Bar
Eleiko, a Swedish weightlifting equipment specialist, is reinforcing its position in the strength and fitness market with the launch of the Öppen Deadlift Bar,
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: Pavigym: helping gyms and boutique studios fight back against noise
With noise complaints against gyms on the rise, limiting noise isn’t only beneficial to users - it could also be crucial to your business.
Opinion
promotion
As an industry, we still underestimate the power of a truly varied fitness regime - and the growing appetite for it, especially among emerging customer segments.
Opinion: Collaboration vs aggregation - what’s the difference?
Video Gallery
Harlands Group Overview
Harlands Group
An overview of the Harlands Group, the membership management experts. Read more
More videos:
Company profiles
Company profile: Harlands Group
Harlands Group are the leading global provider of regular billing services in health & fitness ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Physical Company Ltd
Physical Company provides specialist fitness solutions. This includes equipment, flooring, gym design, programming and training ...
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Exercise equipment
Star Trac / Core Health & Fitness: Exercise equipment
Lockers/interior design
Fitlockers: Lockers/interior design
Trade associations
International SPA Association - iSPA: Trade associations
Fitness equipment
FunXtion International BV: Fitness equipment
Audio visual
Hutchison Technologies: Audio visual
Direct debit solutions
Harlands Group: Direct debit solutions
Locking solutions
Ojmar: Locking solutions
Member access schemes
Move GB: Member access schemes
Professional services
Deloitte UK: Professional services
Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Kemitron GmbH: Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
05-06 Sep 2019
TagusPark, Oeiras, Portugal
Diary dates
21-22 Sep 2019
Locations worldwide,
Diary dates

features

Innovation: Bio Hacking

Silicon Valley hacker Dave Asprey used his tech skills to gather the latest fitness kit to create a bio hacking boutique. Kath Hudson investigates cusapero

By Kath Hudson | Published in Health Club Management 2019 issue 5
Upgrade Labs has opened a luxury club in the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills. The 6,000sq ft facility is the second to launch and included 15 different technologies / PHOTOGRAPHY: zekeruelas.com
Upgrade Labs has opened a luxury club in the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills. The 6,000sq ft facility is the second to launch and included 15 different technologies / PHOTOGRAPHY: zekeruelas.com

How did Upgrade Labs come about?
It was created by Dave Asprey, a computer hacker from Silicon Valley, who was the first person to put anything on the internet. He spent so much time working and not enough time on his health, that he ballooned to 300 lbs, causing him to experience terrible fatigue and brain fog.

After a year of intense dieting and exercise, he decided to put his computer hacking skills to good use to solve the puzzle of his body, figuring that the body is like hardware and the brain is like software. So, he travelled the world in pursuit of better health.

He returned to Santa Monica and opened a coffee shop – selling his turbo-charged beverage, Bulletproof coffee – while filling his house with tech that amplifies health.

It was the type of stuff that was only previously used by the super wealthy or professional athletes, not the public. Wanting more people to benefit, he acquired the store next to his coffee shop and spent $2m (€1.77m, £1.5m) on equipment, which was when I asked for a job.

I’d spent 15 years in the health and fitness industry, most recently as a master trainer for the POUND workout (see HCM March 2019, p 12), which involved constant travelling from continent to continent.

My task was to figure out the concept, the programming, the customer journey and the costings and also to find staff who were able to deliver the concept. We launched the business in 2017.

Tell us more about Upgrade Labs
It’s more space age laboratory than a health club. Highly-trained “biohackers” use cellular-level data to develop individualised custom plans for high performance in brain, body and recovery. There’s no guesswork – machines crack the code and accelerate results. Performance is constantly monitored and programmes are adapted to maximise results.

Do people work out or relax when they visit?
It depends on their goals. Fifteen minutes twice a week on The Cheat Machine is all that’s needed to build strength and endurance. It’s like lifting weights, but the machine works out the appropriate amount of weight for both the push and the retraction.

On the flip side, the PEMF (Pulsed Electro Magnetic Field ) is all about recovery, detoxing, energising and reducing inflammation – it pulls with the earth’s magnetic field and re-energises the body on a cellular level.

The technology can induce the benefits of three hours of exercise in just 30 minutes, as the machines tell the body how to respond. Members lose fat and build muscle without breaking a sweat or raising their heart rate.

How does the membership work?
People can either come for an hour and use one machine (US$75, €66, £57); purchase an hour with a trainer who will curate the experience (US$175, €155, £134); or monthly memberships start at US$500 (€442, £382) a month, rising to US$3,500 (€3093, £2672), depending on how often they want to use it.

Who are the members?
There’s now an amazing mix. We started with high performers like celebrities and elite athletes; then the very affluent professionals came in; they were followed by people with injuries and those in the midst of a health crisis. We’re now starting to see ourselves spread to the general public. People are willing to pay the price to go away feeling better after just one session and with a report card about their health.

However, we want to take the concept more mainstream and we’re currently looking at ways to offer it at a lower price point. Firstly, I’m working on a group exercise model so that our biohackers can work with multiple people at one time. As we’re planning a large-scale rollout, we’ve also developed relationships with equipment manufacturers to drive the cost down.

What are the expansion plans?
Orangetheory is our inspiration: its CEO, Dave Long, has been massively supportive and shared a lot of their learnings. So, we’re looking to follow them and are setting our pie-in-the-sky figure at 1,000 locations worldwide. We also already have 200 people interested in franchising if we decide to go that route.

We’ve just opened our second site in January, at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, which is 6,000sq ft (372sq m) and includes 15 cutting-edge technologies, with custom packages suited to the location, such as getting ready for the red carpet and decreasing travel fatigue.

Flagship stores, like Santa Monica, will need a footprint of 4,000-6,000sq ft (372sq m to 557sq m), as they have an integrated medical complex. We envisage there’s scope for 40 of these worldwide, in major cities like London, New York and Sydney.

Added to this, we’ll offer a smaller model of 2,500sq ft, (232sq m), with the working title of Express Labs. These will be significantly more affordable, with less equipment and could work in any city.

Amanda McVey
"The technology can induce the benefits of three hours of exercise in just 30 minutes, as the machines tell the body how to respond - Amanda McVey, vice president, Upgrade Labs"
EXPERIENCE OFFERINGS

Road Warrior Reset: For before or after travel. Claimed to eliminate jetlag and boost the immune system

Red Carpet Radiance: An ‘internal detox’, billed as leading to ‘glowing, toned skin, increased energy and a calm mind’

About Last Night: Designed to purge toxins, rehydrate and repair damage caused by a big night out

Sweat: 60-minutes which are claimed to be the equivalent of a week’s worth of exercise

Custom: A 60 minute experience involving any three technologies from the recovery or strength labs

Pricing for monthly memberships

Cryo
$500, €442, £382 (unlimited)

Fire & Ice
$750, €663, £573 (unlimited)

Silver
$600, €530, £458 (one session a week)

Gold
$1080, €955, £824 (two sessions a week)

Platinum
$1440, €1273, £1099 (three a week)

Diamond
$3500, €3094, £2672 (up to seven a week)

Equipment

Cryotherapy chamber
Three minutes in a -250 degree Fahrenheit chamber boosts the immune system and releases endorphins

Redcharger
Infrared lights promote muscle recovery, decrease inflammation and boost mitochondrial function

Bone trainer
Strengthens bones by applying optimal biomechanics and bone compression.

The Cheat Machine
Adaptive resistance technology, which gives the benefits of a week’s worth of weightlifting in two 15 minute sessions

Atmospheric Cell Trainer
Futuristic pod which changes the air pressure to work the cellular energy system

Oxygen Trainer
An oxygen mask that alternates between high and low oxygen, giving the lungs a good workout and saturating cells with oxygen. It’s used with an exercise bike

Cold HIIT
This is currently being tested by NASA for space flights to Mars. It combines compression and cooling technology during a HIIT session to allow individuals to push beyond limits and recover faster

The Vibe
G-forces penetrate every muscle fibre to make them vibrate at 30 times a second, allowing a complete workout in a few movements

BreathE EZ
Breathe in specially charged EZ water vapour to repair cells

PEMF
Through vibration and the earth’s magnetic pull, the Pulsed Electro Magnetic Field promotes cell regeneration

Upgrade Labs has opened a luxury club in the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills. The 6,000sq ft facility is the second to launch and included 15 different technologies
Upgrade Labs has opened a luxury club in the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills. The 6,000sq ft facility is the second to launch and included 15 different technologies
Upgrade Labs is looking to develop 1,000 sites by rolling out its full-size concept, and developing a version with a lower price point. A class-based concept is also in the works.
Upgrade Labs is looking to develop 1,000 sites by rolling out its full-size concept, and developing a version with a lower price point. A class-based concept is also in the works.
People are willing to pay the price to go away feeling better after just one session and with a report card about their health
People are willing to pay the price to go away feeling better after just one session and with a report card about their health
Cryotherapy chambers take people down to minus 250o F to boost their immune system and reduce inflammation / PHOTOGRAPHY: zekeruelas.com
Cryotherapy chambers take people down to minus 250o F to boost their immune system and reduce inflammation / PHOTOGRAPHY: zekeruelas.com
One of Upgrade Labs’ more unusual pieces of kit is the Atmospheric Cell Trainer, which changes air pressure to work at a cellular level
One of Upgrade Labs’ more unusual pieces of kit is the Atmospheric Cell Trainer, which changes air pressure to work at a cellular level
The infrared sauna is believed to promote muscle recovery, calm inflammation and boost mitochondrial function
The infrared sauna is believed to promote muscle recovery, calm inflammation and boost mitochondrial function
Equipment has been selected to give maxium results in minimum time
Equipment has been selected to give maxium results in minimum time
Members can buy one-off access to the lab, or commit to a regular membership, with packages from £382/month to £2672/month
Members can buy one-off access to the lab, or commit to a regular membership, with packages from £382/month to £2672/month
http://www.leisureopportunities.com/images/imagesX/524477_784128.jpg
Dave Asprey, Silicon Valley hacker and the creator of Bulletproof coffee has developed a boutique fitness studio, which uses technology to upgrade members’ health
Latest News
Fitness franchise Fit Body Boot Camp has revealed that it has more than 200 new ...
Latest News
DW Fitness First has launched its new Kit & Collect service, aimed at increasing secondary ...
Latest News
Teenagers' 'incessant' use of social media is radically reducing the time they spend sleeping and ...
Latest News
Wattbike has secured a deal to supply more than 30 Bupa Health Clinic sites across ...
Latest News
Fitness franchise YourZone45 has concluded a second round of funding, as it prepares to expand ...
Latest News
Leisure trust Active Nation has expanded its portfolio of budget gyms with the acquisition of ...
Latest News
Thousands of people at risk of Type 2 diabetes will be given digital support – ...
Latest News
New research has provided a possible explanation for the perceived decrease in endurance musculature as ...
Latest News
Ten Health and Fitness has opened its ninth studio in an office building in central ...
Latest News
German wellness operator Lanserhof has opened its first UK location at the historic Arts Club ...
Latest News
The backlash over billionaire Stephen Ross' fundraiser for Donald Trump's 2020 presidential campaign has overshadowed ...
Job search
POST YOUR JOB
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: Eleiko makes deadlifting more accessible with the Öppen Deadlift Bar
Eleiko, a Swedish weightlifting equipment specialist, is reinforcing its position in the strength and fitness market with the launch of the Öppen Deadlift Bar,
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: Pavigym: helping gyms and boutique studios fight back against noise
With noise complaints against gyms on the rise, limiting noise isn’t only beneficial to users - it could also be crucial to your business.
Opinion
promotion
As an industry, we still underestimate the power of a truly varied fitness regime - and the growing appetite for it, especially among emerging customer segments.
Opinion: Collaboration vs aggregation - what’s the difference?
Video Gallery
Harlands Group Overview
Harlands Group
An overview of the Harlands Group, the membership management experts. Read more
More videos:
Company profiles
Company profile: Harlands Group
Harlands Group are the leading global provider of regular billing services in health & fitness ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Physical Company Ltd
Physical Company provides specialist fitness solutions. This includes equipment, flooring, gym design, programming and training ...
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Exercise equipment
Star Trac / Core Health & Fitness: Exercise equipment
Lockers/interior design
Fitlockers: Lockers/interior design
Trade associations
International SPA Association - iSPA: Trade associations
Fitness equipment
FunXtion International BV: Fitness equipment
Audio visual
Hutchison Technologies: Audio visual
Direct debit solutions
Harlands Group: Direct debit solutions
Locking solutions
Ojmar: Locking solutions
Member access schemes
Move GB: Member access schemes
Professional services
Deloitte UK: Professional services
Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Kemitron GmbH: Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
05-06 Sep 2019
TagusPark, Oeiras, Portugal
Diary dates
21-22 Sep 2019
Locations worldwide,
Diary dates
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