#139: Nathaniel Jewell, Founder & CEO of Recess.tv

Today, I’m joined by Nathaniel Jewell, founder and CEO of Recess.tv, a platform helping fitness professionals launch and scale digital businesses.

Recess’ technology enables trainers to host live classes, build on-demand libraries, and sell packages and merchandise through their own website. Handling integration, app development, hosting, Recess creates a flywheel for independent businesses to reach their clients.

In this episode, Nate and I discuss the rise of the fitness creator, the consolidation happening among fitness creator platforms, and the shifting fitness landscape from gyms to at-home and hybrid workouts. Nate also shares his vision to expand into wellness verticals beyond fitness.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • How to spot opportunities in the $5 trillion health & wellness industry
  • Nathan’s tips for providing ongoing value to your customers
  • How Recess built a platform that serves both creators and consumers
  • Nathan’s predictions for entrepreneurs in the health & wellness space

Links & Resources

Nathaniel Jewell’s Links

Episode Transcript

This is a machine-generated transcript. Please excuse any errors.

[00:00:00] Nathaniel:
There is no wellness journey you can rinse and repeat for every single person. I don’t believe someone can sign onto something and do that same thing for five years, because their life changes over those five years and they need someone to meet them along the way.

What we’re doing is creating the most accessible and inclusive experience and platform out there. If we do that—connecting humans and creating those personalizations—we can build something really cool and really powerful, and most importantly really impactful.

[00:00:36] Joe:
Welcome back to the Fitt Insider podcast. I’m your host, Joe Vennare.

Today I’m joined by Nathaniel Jewelll, Founder and CEO of Recess.tv, a platform helping fitness professionals launch and scale digital businesses.

In this episode we discuss the rise of the fitness creator, the consolidation happening among fitness creator platforms, and the shifting fitness landscape from gyms to at-home and hybrid workouts. Plus, Nate shares his vision to expand into wellness verticals beyond fitness.

Let’s get into it.

Hi Nate, welcome to Fitt Insider. Thanks for joining us.

[00:01:03] Nathaniel:
Thanks for having me, Joe. Happy to be here.

[00:01:05] Joe:
Yeah, I’m excited to chat today. Certainly a lot going on, not only in the fitness industry, but in your sector of the fitness industry as well. We’ll get into all that in a moment.

To kick things off can you introduce yourself and tell us about Recess?

[00:01:19] Nathaniel:
Yeah, I’m Nate Jewell, CEO and Founder of Recess. I grew up in more traditional and big companies before heading my way out to California. I was at Apple for a few years befor jumping into the startup scene. I started my first fitness company, Drift, a few years ago, and then we pivoted into Recess.tv.

Recess, for those who don’t know, it’s a two-sided platform. We launched it to help trainers, coaches, and instructors run their businesses during COVID because we were a fitness studio. We shut down during COVID like everyone else. We did the Zoom thing like everyone else. So, we had a lot of empathy for what many, many people were going through—hundreds of thousands of coaches and trainers.

We said there’s gotta be a better way. So, we built a better way, and we carried a lot of the ethos over from the studio of how trainers work and operate. We built a bunch of software so trainers, coaches, and instructors could run their businesses and focus on what they love, which is their craft, and we took care of all the administrative stuff.

The second piece of the platform is we care about the consumers, too. We have a consumer experience. What we think about, in terms of the consumer experience, is how do we do lead gen for the trainers and instructors. Other platforms out there in other industries, we’ll call them marketplaces, don’t do that. It’s really about lead gen. It’s about growing each individual instructor’s business as big as possible, and taking all that marketing work off their plates.

It’s been almost two years since we launched, and it’s going really well. There’s been quite a lot of change in two years in the industry, as you know, in all aspects of health.

[00:02:58] Joe:
Yeah. And for kind of building on that for anyone to give them a sense of the company, whatever kind of metrics or milestones you would point to, how many employees, how many instructs. It’s like a sense of size.

[00:03:12] Nathaniel:
Yeah, we have, I think we’re, we have a new person starting on Mondays where 22 employees, come Monday. so smallest team still, but it’s, it’s grown. I think in December we were probably 10 employees. So we’re really grown really quickly over the past few months, which has been great for us. obviously seeing a lot of changes in industry that we’ve been able to take advantage of, you know, other, other metrics.

One, I like to talk about. It’s probably about 16 months ago or maybe a hundred competitors in the space. and now there’s just a handful, so it’s really changed dramatically over that time. so that’s something I think we pay attention to and a number of instructors on the platform. You know, we have a few thousand instructors on the platform and, you know, obviously multiples of that in terms of, of clients that are working out with those.

[00:03:57] Joe:
Yeah. And I think the evolution, the shifting that consolidation, we’ve kind of referred to it as the finished greater space. Other folks have referred to it. You know, it’s kind of a spinoff of, if you want to think about the gig economy or creators in general or influencers, right. Who have created all different types of media on all the types of social platforms, but as it relates to fitness, you kind of alluded to it.

At the beginning of COVID and that, you know, some companies that had been around maybe before that, and then certainly many more rushing to the scene as it was kind of necessary, right. to figure out how we work out at home, we can’t go to the gyms, and going from a few hundred to now, probably, I don’t know, maybe back down. And double digits, maybe 20, I think, I think. And then a handful of those, probably Recess included who were kind of well-positioned for whatever the future of this sector becomes. Can you just talk about maybe kind of COVID happens. You start assembling the team and the software and then where does it go from?

[00:05:05] Nathaniel:
Yeah. So COVID happens. As I said, we were, we were a studio, so we were just operating very differently. We did the Zoom thing and doing the Zoom thing. Like everyone else, everyone’s like, what should I do? You know, what are we going to do? Because you can’t have your in-person classes and everyone Googles, you know, what, what should I use to teach, you know, fitness from home and everyone lands on Zoom.

And, and when we landed on Zoom, we said, okay, we’ll use this. Really is that, is that all there is a Zoom is great, but it’s not a fitness platform, so to speak. And we said, this gotta be something else out that they were missing. So we kind of, this is March of 2020, so we’re waiting. And then April of 20, 20 rolls around and it was mid April and Barry’s bootcamp launched on Zoom for their virtual stuff.

And it’s like, wait, If Barry’s is launching on Zoom, then there literally is nothing else out there. And we said, all right, we, we got to go build this. There’s, there’s a better way to do this. And it’s not just the Zoom aspect. It was taking transactions or payments over Venmo and using ID live and just all these different things.

Now, the idea of what we built, wasn’t rocket science, as we just talked about, there was a couple of hundred companies that were thinking about doing the same thing. I think one of the things in terms of how we approach it differently is. You know, a quote from a book about Amazon working backwards is, are you a mercenaries?

Are you missionaries? And I think a lot of people jumped in this space because they saw dollar signs and opportunity. Where we were already in a space where incredibly passionate, not just about fitness, but helping the fit pros, the creators, the instructors, and the trainers run their businesses, take away the headaches.

And so everything we did in those early days of may, June, July, cause we didn’t lock and launch until August of 2020, it was building the backend, the tech, but also the platforms free for trainers and instructors. Like that’s really important to us that you charge a hundred dollars. Remember. You got a hundred dollars in your bank account?

We, we offer a reimbursed healthcare, you know, it’s based on trilling 30 days revenue, but everyone has the opportunity, which not just healthcare in terms of the online space, but healthcare in terms of just fitness in general is, is not that common for trainers and instructors in. It’s a lot of things that when we were at drift.

Why do, why does studios operate this way? And we carry that over to Recess. so in building it, it was a lot of those ethos and then also totally different teams. and then we’re coming about, so found my, my CTO and co-founder Thomas. Who’s probably the most genius engineer I’ve ever met. just through a chat.

And I was looking for someone to build a prototype and you’re just like, yeah, I’ll, I’ll build this for you. And we spent 10 days on it. And then all of a sudden, you know, here we are together. so it’s, it’s a crazy times of having done a couple of startups and it was that startup journey all over again.

And it’s been a wild ride and you’re starting to see the dust settle, as we just said in the industry and really, really excited about kind of what the future.

[00:07:49] Joe:
Yeah, we had talked about this before and you kind of mentioned it again there that as you get into, you know, you’re kind of looking around, I think like everybody, right? It was like a, what two week lockdowns where it flattened the curve two weeks. And then two weeks is two months and two months is two years and here we are.

But even at the onset, you were kind of heads down building and figuring out like, Hey, if we were to reverse engineer this, like what would it look like? Whereas I think a few things kind of happened across other companies in the space. It was like, how do we build. These kind of tack on features to Zoom, which is like, how do we improve this process?

Onboarding people, paying people, a community or feedback, you know, features on top of Zoom or how do we hurry up and like onboard as many instructors as we can because. Whether it was from the position of like the demand was there, or it was like the rush to, as you kind of positioned it like the mercenaries, right.

Seeing the dollar signs and trying to get those instructors, you were heads down. What was the thought process like, Hey, this is not a short-term thing. We need to build a sustainable product. And, and how did that inform, like, you know, setting out with the team to do that?

[00:09:03] Nathaniel:
Yeah. I mean, luck was a huge component of it. Cause we had to make some assumptions in those early days. and other companies were making other assumptions. So we got, we actually got lucky with how things played out. Some of the early assumptions that we made were COVID was going to accelerate a lot of behaviors, but it wasn’t going to fundamentally change human behavior overnight.

That’s a really hard thing to do, but it was an open up the door of possibilities and accelerate the change for the next 15, 20 years. And we said, it’s not COVID is going to end at some point at that time, we didn’t know how long, but it wasn’t going to be that all of a sudden, everyone goes from having a social life and being outside and commuting to work, to never leaving their homes ever again.

That wasn’t sustainable. So at some point I was going to be this pendulum swung to the far right of in-home it was going to swing probably dramatically, again, as things opened up, but it will ultimately set somewhere in the middle. So how do we build a platform for the future of how. and knowing fiber is going to shift, but instead of hybrid, because hybrid in a census to it’s omni-channel, cause there’s tons of ways that, that you can experience health and wellness.

And it’s not just online. It’s not just in person because there’s a lot of aspects to it. So we were heads down building and then heads down building. We did open the platform for anyone just to join. We created a waitlist and the waitlist intent was we wanted, you know, initial coaches and trainers using it to not be a lot.

Let’s learn from them. Let’s understand how they’re using the product. Let’s get feedback. And then this past fall, we started, the blow up the platform, behind the scenes. No one, no one could see it. And it was, I think, late October where we just had built all this, you know, information and feedback gathering.

And we S we set out to completely rebuild the instructor dashboard and we’re relaunching it, in, in may, which is really, really exciting. For when that happens and it’s going to be unlike anything that I think is out there. It’s the lessons learned that we had, and it was the intent all along to build towards that.

And it is about the future. So the future of health and wellness. So it’s the foundational blocks and the tools that we’re going to launch in the future. We don’t even know the direction that is going to go because we’re putting so many tools and creators hands, and they’re going to innovate and they’re going to innovate on their businesses and their content and, and how they interact with, with their clients.

And it’s going to be just really, really exciting. And, we’re just, we’re at the doorstep of what I think the future of health and wellness.

[00:11:18] Joe:
Yeah. Even now as the broader industry experiences, these shifts from the Peloton all the way to the gyms and then back again. No. I think taking that approach where it’s like, we’re in it for the long run and we’re going to continue to innovate this platform. it’s probably, it sounds like certainly paying off with that as you think about, you know, this continuing to evolve, one of the things early on, and what we’re continuing to hear now is like, This pool, right from when you think about a fitness professional, or a coach or a yoga instructor, there’s so many different kind of personas.

There’s so many different use cases. And I think there was also like this tendency to, folks are asking for different features. And so then the companies were building these one off features and they got pulled in a bunch of different directions. Sometimes, ultimately it didn’t end up building anything or build a bunch of things that only a few people used when it comes to like the actual experience from the coaches perspective or the trainers perspective. what does that look like at Recess? And how did you get to that point Kind of recognizing we could build a bunch of different one-off things, but we need to build something more cohesive.

[00:12:28] Nathaniel:
It took a really big bet, around this time, last year, when, when things were really hot and really competitive in the space, we, we had some good financing, so we had some good cash and we made the decision. Let’s not go spend it all right now and try to acquire users. Let’s continue to learn from the users.

We have, so much to the point that we really pulled back kind of late summer and the fall. And we said, let’s now actually go build the product and traders and that they create as a platform. We’re asking for things all the time. And every one’s always said, you know, this is a really good thing. Let’s do it now in our existing product.

But a lot of times. Be patient like something great is going to happen soon. like, we’re, we’re rebuilding this, you’re going to love it. But in all those feature requests, a lot of times a creators asking for, I need X, but that’s not really what they need. That’s addressing an immediate need. So we’ll get that feedback where like, all right, we’re hearing you say you need X, but really what are you trying to try to do lead gen or you’re trying to engage with your clients more.

And I think one thing we always get all the time is they want to get an email every single time anything happens on the platform. It’s like, If you have a big enough client base, you want 2000 emails a day. And the answer is probably no, but they want a way to quickly and easily see that people are buying their memberships or booking a class because it’s someone new.

They want to be able to reach out to them, says, so it’s like, all right, we might do a stop gap to appease them in a sense, but what’s the real feature in the future to kind of what we’re trying to do. And as we’ve been doing this for creators, we’re also thinking about, has a scale beyond a fitness creators to all health and wellness creators.

And that’s something that I think we’ve been also really patient about is when we, when we have this new product upgrade release, it’s going to be for fitness because that’s where we’re at right now. But it has everything for all other types of health and wellness creators out there to really start building their businesses to, or moving their businesses onto.

[00:14:22] Joe:
Yeah, I think that’s probably worth, I guess, digging into a little bit because. I keep saying like in conversations and talking to folks like trying to dig into the creator, you know, whether it’s finished graders or Shopify for fitness or, the creator economy and where it intersects with like wellness.

Talk to a bunch of folks and a lot of the feedback, especially among, maybe companies or platforms that didn’t succeed was like the fitness creator market wasn’t as big as they thought it was. And that. You know, Jim started reopening, not only did customers go back, trainers went back and this was only, you know, a piece of their overall call it business, right.

That they had a revenue stream coming from digital, but it wasn’t enough to sustain them. So they had to go back to. In person job. And therefore, like there was never going to be an overall, you know, enough revenue or enough instructors making enough revenue to sustain a platform. when you think about taking a percentage or the subscription, or however, the business model worked out now, you kind of said, we want to go even more.Wellness. And that’s kind of the position I’ve heard from other folks who have continued to kind of Excel as this shift is happening, is like, listen, this is a trillion dollar industry. We need to figure out how to better serve all of these professionals. you mentioned your fitness is the focus now, how do you think about tapping into that broader market?

[00:15:54] Nathaniel:
Yeah in well, a few sayings, in terms of, you know, the creator space, top pain, big enough. you know, it’s, it’s funny cause there’s, you know, half a million, you know, identified fitness creators out there right now that are doing really, really well. and in aggregate, but if you rewind at any point in time when you know, creators or gig economies are happening, I mean, when Airbnb launch was there.

Was there an industry? Was it, did anyone think it was maybe a billion dollar opportunity or when all the food delivery companies, same thing. So I think we’re at the beginning of something that’s been going on for a long time, but you know, COVID has changed a lot of things and, and the future of craters is, is big in our minds because it’s, it’s not just about the creators that exist today.

It’s about everyone. That’s younger that as they’re, you know, coming out of high school and college, it’s, it’s a future. It’s a real business opportunity. It’s a real career path that they can have. And how can we build those, those tools for them as it relates to the fitness, specifically fitness by itself is absolutely big enough.

But to your point, Fitness is a piece of a pie in health and wellness is I think really where consumers’ minds are at and fitness is only one component of health and wellness. You have attrition, you have sleep, you have mindfulness, you can even add spirituality to it. you can add, you know, contemporary health care.

So like not your traditional medicine. There’s a lot of aspects when it comes to health and wellness and companies are right now attacking health and wellness in these circles of those buckets, sleep nutrition, fitness, but consumer. Are attacking them in that way. It’s not like a group consumers who only think about sleep and a group of consumers who only think about nutrition.

And the younger, the consumers are the more they care about their overall health and wellness and the more they want to personalize. I think that’s an it’s really interesting. I was reading a report that 88% of consumers want personalized health and wellness plans, health and wellness journeys. So as we take a step back and we’ve been focused on fitness, we think about.

Well, there’s creators all, all across the space from physical therapy to nutritionist, et cetera. So how do we serve all of them, but as how do we serve all the consumers and consumers coming in? Where are they coming in? Have they been doing CrossFit forever? And they’re really good on the exercise, but they need help with nutrition or sleep, or have they been really good about nutrition?

They’ve never exercised in their life. And you have to really understand where the consumer is coming in at, and then adjust their wellness journey to where they are now, but also the future of where they’re at. If they’re 25, What they’re going to need right now to be very different than when they’re 35.

If they’re a woman that’s 25 and later on has kids, their journey is going to change and how do we meet them? And every piece of that journey, how do we predict things along the journey, but then also how we personalize it in the way we personalize it is we’re off the ones, creating the content. We’re just creating the platform, the system, the tools, and it’s all these creators who are going to deliver very personalized things that authenticity.

The customization. They’ve got to know their consumers really, really well. And they’ll adjust. They’re going to know that their clients are on vacation or their clients just had an injury. And the fitness creator can recommend a nutritionist if they aren’t trained to, they could recommend the sleep person through the network and the platform we’re building.

And. It’s really exciting because I think people talk about it a lot, but no one’s done it cause it’s, I mean, it’s an overly, wildly complex problem. It’s kind of like, Adrian forward, you know, he’s trying to disrupt overall healthcare and where they’re starting right now is very different than where he talks about with open heart surgeries and delivering babies.

Like you have to start somewhere and build the pieces, but if you have that vision in place, knowing how complex. You have the building blocks. I think you can get there, but, that’s why for us, it’s it’s not even next three years, the next 20, 30, 40 years of where wellness is going to go and how you meet the consumers, but connect them with the creators.

And the creators is we’ll always start there. We’ll always make decisions on what’s best for.

[00:19:34] Joe:
Yeah, I think there’s probably two things in there specifically. Like even the idea as you look at. The trying to solve the current problem and early 2020 when the pandemic happened, versus what if we just re-imagined. The gym or the wellness experience, the digital version of that, right? Not even using any of these parameters that oh, Zoom exists or, oh, the, we worked out at the gym the majority of the time, or this is how instructors deliver whatever the fitness modality is, but saying like, okay, what does this look like if we did it from scratch, and focused on the digital.

So I think that’s super interesting. Right. And then there’s this other piece, which is, and I don’t know if there’s an answer for this. Maybe that’s kind of what you were speaking to are huge challenges. When you look at some of the. Bigger, you know, I don’t want to say more successful, but even more, maybe more well-funded or they’ve been around longer digital platforms, like a digital, only platform.

They are super curated. Right? They have like this brand, they bring those instructors on that fit that brand. They offer a whole bunch of different modalities, right? So you can have different experiences. You don’t just have this one instructor teaching the one thing, and then maybe they, they integrate or they partner with.

Sleep or nutrition or mindfulness, whatever. And they build that kind of imprehensive offering for a very low price. Like what five bucks, a month, nine bucks, 15 bucks. How do you think about that from like me joining and I’m basically subscribing to one person who does one thing, but wellness is all these different things.

[00:21:16] Nathaniel:
I’m not going to sit here and say, I have the exact answer. I know, I know what the vision is because I think it is our one thing that we always say is, there is no one size fits all. I mean, it’s the reason right now, that globally health and wellness is almost a $5 trillion industry. And it’s only going to continue to explode everyone needs and wants something different.

And there is no. Like wellness journey that I think you can rinse and repeat for every single person. I mean, every single ones that have a slight nuance to it, is, is someone exercising and they have diabetes. Someone just break their leg. I mean, there’s all these changes. And while I think the, the curated stuff works really well for a lot of people and it’s going to continue to work the personalized, customized recommendation when people are wearing all these wearables.

Now you have your apple watches and your loop. You’re collecting all this data. No, one’s doing a whole lot with it. Well, if you could sit down with a health and wellness person, a wellness coach, and they’re like, all right, you have all this data, plus it knows all these other things about you. I can create this customer.

You know, plan for you. That’s not just with me, but it’s actually with this network inside of Recess and you’re paying maybe one fixed price, but it’s all being distributed evenly, or you can Uplevel and pay all these customized prices across each creator. It just, I think, gives so much more powerful. And ability to navigate through this whole life.

I don’t believe that someone can sign onto something and do that same thing for five years because their life changes over those. Over those five years, they might move, they have stresses thing of things fluctuate, and they need someone that’s kind of, I think, meeting them along the way. So it is a really complex problem and how we ended up solving it.

We’re going to probably change, you know, multiple times too and how we solve it. But I think just knowing that there is no one size fits all, and what we’re trying to do is create the most accessible and inclusive, experience and platform out there. And if we do that, connecting humans and creating those personalizations, I think we can build something really, really cool and really powerful.

But most importantly, it really.

[00:23:12] Joe:
Yeah, I don’t, like I said, I don’t think anybody has necessarily solved that because even when you look at the quote unquote bigger platforms or whatever, the curated platforms like there, it’s just a constant turn battle. Right. Those people are just turning out and new people are coming in and then the acquisition costs go up, especially with.

There’s more competition and you know, what, what did the digital social gatekeepers look like? So, yeah, I don’t, I don’t know that it is even figure out-able, in the long-term, but maybe there’s a version of that. I think, this approach is super interesting with that. one thing I did want to touch on, you mentioned like not calling it a marketplace.

A lot of instructors, whatever modality and however far that expands into wellness, like they are hesitant to, put me somewhere where I’m just competing with everybody else who’s on this platform. how do you articulate that to them? And you know, how do you continue to, maintain that, sense that this is not a competition, it’s not a marketplace while maybe integrating some of these other offerings.

[00:24:16] Nathaniel:
Well, one thing is we, we tell them we, will never, ever. To any of our clients. we, we don’t, we, don’t poach their clients directly. If they have a client that’s with them, that that’s their client. what we do tell them is all and allow alum to have their own websites and they’ll have their profiles obviously on, on the Recess platform.

Two is that’s your business, that’s your brand. That’s your identity? Let us. Let us bring you more people. And then using the Recess platform, I bring them more people. We have the lead gen. So we bring people in kind of top of funnel and do all that marketing. We’re spending our money to do that lead gen and that marketing, as we bring people in, someone doesn’t know where to start.

So we’re asking them questions, you know, have you worked out before? If you have, how often, what do you like? We’ll recommend them. We try to personalize that and say, try these three trainers. And here’s some credits to try those trainers. And then once they find a trainer, it usually takes anywhere from 30 to 45 days to find someone.

Then we actually tell them, now go buy direct from that trainer go buy that instructors membership. And what we see is when someone’s with an instructor, the retention is, I mean, it’s crazy through the roof. Like after one month at, for six months or 12 months, you don’t really see much degradation of the curve, where you do see some differences and it’s us building the tools for the instructors is how often does the instructor communicate?

What’s the community like those things, all they do is they increase retention by, by having these. Kind of personal, authentic engagements with the trainers and instructors on the platform they’re able to retain and we show them like your clients, aren’t leaving you. They have the data, they see that.

We’re just trying to bring you new clients. We had one cool success story is we have a trainer, Amy who came to the platform, was doing. Three digits a month in terms of revenue and is now doing, you know, four or five digits a month. And it took only six months of us kind of helping through lead gen and through other things to really grow her business and make it successful.

So we are the success stories. We don’t have the opposite. We don’t have, people were like, you took all my clients away. I mean, it’s just, that’s not the business. So that’s why it’s not a marketplace. You’d call it matchmaking. We call it lead gen. it’s much, much more, in that sense. And that’s because our ethos is put the creative.

[00:26:22] Joe:
I think that’s a huge part of it as well. When you look at some of the teams that have been. Successful to this point is like they come from, Hey, I ran a studio, I was a fitness instructor. I had an in-person business. I, or I’m somehow interested in or passionate about this space, such that I’ve built a team of those people that had that similar experience.

So it’s cool to hear how that continues to translate and like that focus on the instructor or the user, right. Continues to drive how you’re thinking about building out this offering and adding value. another piece of that, maybe just a couple more questions as we get toward the end of the conversation, The idea that, you know, a fitness professional, or any type of wellness coach, even if we expand kind of the umbrella, they, they know what they know. They are passionate about the craft. They enjoy helping people live and achieve a healthier lifestyle, but maybe they don’t know the marketing piece.

They don’t know the business piece. They certainly don’t know the technology piece. How are you solving for that? You mentioned like the lead gen, which is huge, making sure they get clients and you know, maybe them wanting to get notifications whenever anything happens on the platform, to have a handle on the business, but telling them like, Hey, this is how maybe you want to deliver something, or this is the workflow of emails or cadence of check-ins or so on and so forth.

As you think about. The basic business functions of that. how are you helping them on that?

[00:27:53] Nathaniel:
Probably three ways. We’re doing now and then one will be coming. So we have, head of BD on the team who runs all the education and the business community is Riley, who many fitness creators know in the industry. we have a educational roadmap where it could be business stuff. It could be admin stuff, it could be front facing, you know, client stuff. we had, usually do monthly webinars that we’ve kind of, put a pause on them until the new upgrade comes out. So once that comes out, we’ll be wrapped and goes back up to probably twice a month, even. So, you know, these open webinars and things with webinars that are just for people on the Recess platform there for the entire industry.

So anyone can join. and we do lots of content there’s takeaways that they have materials they have. So how do we just kind of train them in the real world type of stuff that they’re going to encounter? so I think that’s, one aspect. Another aspect of it, which is a little bit more kind of, I think, in the future thinking it’s just overall education, for health and wellness creators, and there’s, you know, traditional education that’s been in the space for a really, really long time that worked for a really, really long time when it related to getting certifications to work at a studio or a gym, but with online and digital.

I don’t care about that. Quite as much of the quite in the same way. Now it’s incredibly important that creators know what they’re doing. They know how to keep their clients safe, but the whole model needs to be blown up and rethought. So that’s something we’re thinking a lot about too, is the educational component.

If we’re going to be a kind of full service platform that helps them do lead gen helps them run their businesses. Well, education’s really important, not just education for today, but for that, as I mentioned earlier, the up and coming. Of creators. so that’s something else that that’s definitely in the future of, of how we’re going to do, and it kind of help, future creators and even existing creators kind of just refine and you continue to learn and perfect.

[00:29:40] Joe:
Yeah, I think it’s a huge opportunity when you think about, even if you’re just doing. Credentialing or continuing education for folks who are already on Recess, let alone, like what that looks like as a funnel to the platform for people potentially who want to learn about everything from social media marketing, to running a P and L to, you know, you name it.

I think, yeah, a lot of those things beyond. How you take somebody’s pulse or like, how you do a dynamic warmup, like that education piece certainly Hasn’t evolved.

[00:30:16] Nathaniel:
No, it hasn’t. And there’s also a lot of the third, the third piece, which I didn’t touch on is how do we automate it too? Like along the business stuff, like inside the platform and that’s some of the new updates will be coming in and more coming in. You know, actually don’t think about the email cadence. The platform’s going to tell you what to do. oh, this client might churn based on all the information we have. You should send them a message right now. here’s a new client, send them a welcome message. all those things. How do we just automate all those decision-making business things? So again, Do what they do, like what they love, which is the craft.

And I think between, you know, this monthly kind of webinars between the future of education and between the tooling and automation that we’re going to have, you know, the future of, of just business training, education, training, everything in the industry is, this going to change dramatically over the next six, 12 and 18 months?

[00:31:04] Joe:
Yeah, it’s huge. Last question. I think in, before we wrap up, the other part I wanted to touch on was the role, or I dunno, the opportunity, or just even how you think about the physical space, when it relates to that instructor or, you know, the gym, the equipment, the. someone who made the switch to working out at home, right.

When, COVID happened and fortunate enough to have like the gym space designated. but even the mindset shift that happens, like when you walk in there and that’s kind of the same as like a coach to like, the productions, the cameras, any type of production value, like lighting, all those things. how important is that?

Like physical space. And are you thinking about like, Hey, how do we integrate with a gym or a studio, or how do we make sure that this person has, you know, the equipment or the lighting or the, whatever they need to produce this content, if they are going to be on the platform, is there any type of like integration.

[00:32:08] Nathaniel:
Yeah, the the physical space. I mean, that’s, as many other people are working on, that’s a whole nother, you know, kind of I think complex thing and it hits evolved at time. You have, gyms popping up that are trying to cater to the personal trainer and kind of be this we work style model. you have places that are trying to be multi modalities to utilize space and utilization and all that stuff.

So I think that’s really interesting when it comes to like in real life components, like, you know, the future of gyms and studios as relates to the creators. we, when, when we onboard someone new, if if they haven’t, I think our benefit is a lot of them know what they’re doing and have a really good setup to have a dedicated space in their homes. but with ones who haven’t, we, we coached them or like, Hey, this is what you should have, you know, do you have a place that you can carve out? If not, we’ll connect you with a local studio that does rent space or things like that. So we have partnerships or in a, in a, few cities. with studios that will rent out to give them that space of it’s, we’re just filming for a few hours of they’re doing on-demand content.

Or if it’s actually kind of doing their live stuff, for the consumer. No, it goes back to like the preference. Some of them work out on their, their apartment gyms, the great some, you know, 10% of homes in COVID 10% of American homes added a home gym. I mean, to me, that’s like a wild stat. So a lot of people now now have that that’s on top of people who already had a home gym.

So people have it, people in smaller apartments, you know, try to make the space. There is that definitely a mindset shift, that I think you need, if you’re in a workout, not in a gym and it all goes back to this omni-channel. I think there was, you know, I use a lot of stats just cause I love to read and stuff, but there was a recent survey, actually.

There’s a survey at the beginning of COVID probably June or July of COVID and there was like 88% of people are going to be hybrid and that’s beginning of COVID. So you got to kind of take with a grain of salt where there’s one just a couple of months ago. And it’s like, how often do you go to gym versus kind of home?

And 60% of people say. I’m going to do both. I’m going to, I’m going to be hybrid. It’s this idea that people can work out, outside, work out in the gym and work out at home. so we try to meet them and we do try to give tips for like, you know, clear out the space of your consumer for instructor. How’s your lighting.

What’s in the background, you know, like clean aesthetic, maybe there’s a plan. Keep it really easy. you’re bright. You’re big. That kind of thing. We have equipment we recommend. And there is stuff I would say, not in the next three, six months. Cause you can only should focus as a startup and you can only do so much at once, but on our longer-term roadmap, I think there’s a lot of opportunity there in terms of physical spaces and how we help creators just navigate that in and find out what works out for them.

If they’re a hundred percent at home or if they’re in some kind of hybrid or multi modality or sorry, multi location type of.

[00:34:46] Joe:
For sure. Yeah. W I mean with that, we, I think we covered a lot of ground, right. In a, in a fairly short amount of time. looking ahead, and we’ll kind of get you out of here on this. You mentioned behind the scenes kind of blew up the platform, did some stuff with the, the instructor dashboard. Rolling that out in may, around The time that this will come out.outside of that, what are you looking forward to excited about? that maybe we should be on the lookout for.

[00:35:13] Nathaniel:
After we get that dashboard out we’re going to start focusing a lot of our attention on improving the consumer experience. We honestly have not touched it in a while. So for the rest of the year I’m really excited about how we increase engagement. It’s already incredibly high. The trainers that use the platform are just phenomenal, but how do we help them? How do we increase that? So, there’s a lot of stuff for the consumer.

What I’m also really excited for is our teams. They’ve exploded in the past couple of months. I’ve worked at other startups, and one of the hardest things is people and culture. We have a really good group of people, and we have a really cool culture, and it continues to evolve.

So just seeing how our team grows. Four months from now we’ll probably double again. The growth has been really good, so there’s a lot of growing pains. I think the product facing stuff is always going to be exciting and the future of where we’re going.

There is a big team behind this that is incredibly passionate. A team full of studio owners, a team full of trainers. It’s everyone that’s doing everything on their own for health and wellness. So it’s a couple of things.

[00:36:16] Joe:
Yeah, super exciting. We’ll definitely keep tabs on it.

Website? Social? Where should folks follow along? Where would you point them?

[00:36:24] Nathaniel:
Our website, Recess.tv, is an easy placeto go. We have an Instagram, WeRecess. It’s another place to go. If you need to get in touch with me or anything, I’m on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, all those places.

[00:36:38] Joe:

It was great chatting today. Super excited about the conversation, and thanks for joining us.

[00:36:43] Nathaniel:
Thanks for having me, Joe.

Get the latest health and fitness industry news

Keep up with industry news, trends, investment activity, and job openings — in one weekly newsletter.

    No thanks.