Today, I’m joined by Rab Shanableh, CEO of OxeFit, a smart strength training system.
OxeFit uses AI-powered technology and advanced robotics to apply weight loads and learn from users’ movements on the company’s high-end machines. With two systems, the XP1 and XS1, OxeFit targets athletes at home and in the weight room, employing form tracking and personalized content to drive performance.
In this episode, we discuss the company’s smart strength training equipment, and why—in addition to at-home exercise—OxeFit is targeting the commercial sector, particularly sports teams and physical therapy. Rab also talks about raising $35M in funding, including investment from athletes like Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott.
In this episode, you’ll learn:
- How OxeFit is succeeding in both the professional & consumer markets
- Rab’s insights on raising capital and protecting shareholders’ interests
- How OxeFit validated their product offering
Links & Resources
- Subscribe to the Fitt Insider newsletter
- Visit the Fitt Insider jobs board
- View current Fitt Insider investment and get in touch
- OxeFit’s website
- Follow OxeFit on Twitter
- OxeFit is on Instagram
- Follow OxeFit on Facebook
- Rab’s LinkedIn page
This is a machine-generated transcript. Please excuse any errors.
One of the things I’ve always looked at was, “How do you know I’m doing okay?” When you hire a trainer, or you work out on your own, you don’t really see the real data. I don’t know how you can see real data without embedding force plates. A person may look okay performing an exercise, but until you see the pressure—how they’re handling the lift—you really don’t know, so getting real-time data is very fundamental to everything OxeFit does.
Welcome back to the Fitt Insider podcast. I’m your host, Joe Vennare.
Today I’m joined by OxeFit CEO, Rab Shanableh. In this episode we discuss the company’s smart strength training equipment, and why OxeFit is targeting the commercial sector—including sports teams and physical therapy—in addition to at-home training. Rab also talks about raising $35 million in funding, including investment from athletes like Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott.
Let’s get into it.
Hi, Rab, welcome to Fitt Insider. Thanks for joining us.
Hi, Joe. Good to be with you as well.
Yeah, I’m looking forward to chatting here today.
To kick things off, can you introduce yourself and tell us about OxeFit?
Yeah, I’m Rab Shanableh. I’m a co-founder and CEO of OxeFit. We’re based out of Plano, Texas, with offices in Texas and Florida.
OxeFit is a unique tech company. It has integrated three key technologies around strength, cardio, and the use of force plates to create an all-in-one connected fitness platform.
Yeah, zooming out a little bit, it definitely falls into that not only connected equipment category, but certainly an emphasis on strength training from the outside looking in.
So, higher level, can you talk about when you got started and how long it’s been? It seems relatively new, right? And then the size and/or scope, and whatever benchmarks you would use to talk about the company and where you are today.
Yeah. So Joe I’m, I’ve been in the tech side, building different companies for, you know, 25-30 years. and I’ve been blessed with working with some of the smartest folks out there creating a lot of disruptive technologies in this whole area of cloud space, as well as hardware. And, A few years ago I Rabn into my co-founder, Peter Neuhaus He’s, he’s a very well-educated well-educated robotics, engineer with quite a bit of expertise in the space of machinery. And, we get together and, and Wellness and fitness in geneRabl–I call it wellness just because this is not just a connected fitness machine. This is really from day one. We wanted to target, more of the entire wellness space.
And, when I refer to wellness, some I’m talking about not just the home, but the consumer gym, the rehab clinic, the sports team, the college, et ceteRab. so we got together we’ve been talking about this space and we’ve talked about all these machines out there. This one does this and this one does that.
It’s like, why do you need all these segregate systems? So, we put together some thoughts around that. And, and, and we said, let’s go figure out if we can get a system together end-to-end that has a view of addressing a B2B market first. So I think this is a key differentiator versus the rest of the guys.
I didn’t want to take the consumer segment from day. one Because I felt if we can prove it for the professional market–the business, the large enterprise–chances are, we’re going to be able to build a consumer machine when the time is right. So we went for what I call the more difficult problem. the problem that actually requires a little bit of more of a science.
And actual data, versus, a machine that, that optically looks great and potentially you can use for strength or cardio. So we kicked it off formally, in 2020 we’re about 2.5 years into it. And, going at a very nice pace We launched our first product. in April of last year, we shipped the first unit, the XP1 in August, and went directly to a professional sports team.
And, from there we had been scaling that across, colleges, rehab clinics, high-end performance centers, and really addressing again. Kind of what I call the space, a the the commercial space that requires the proper hardening in the, in the, in the tools, versus, just any traditional machine. And we just launched the consumer product in January.
That’s the XS1 one and scaling at a pace I probably have never seen before. And I’ve, I’ve built, like I said, several other companies that have done extremely well and, we got a long way to go, but it’s, heading in the right direction.
Yeah It’s definitely exciting. hearing you talk about it, When you, when you think about this market and, and you can kind of, you know, fill us in whether the intention all along was looking at. The home fitness space. a lot of these companies were in saying, Hey, we’re going to disrupt this market.
And, make specific to strength, training, a smarter dumbbell or condense an entire gym into one machine, or create a way that you can measure your performance and simplify strength training. but then there’s this entire other side, which was, Hey, you have the rehab clinics, the sports teams, and the commercial gyms that are already spending.
Tens of thousands of dollars on the equipment and while the bikes the treadmills and the stair climbers over the years have gotten various upgRabdes It was still the same kind of strength set up, in, in gyms and rehab across the board. so when you think about going into, and, and starting with you call it like a little bit more validation required for it, but also the, the B2B segment, what was it like breaking into that and were they receptive to the technology as you’re, trying to bring them into the present day.
Yeah. I mean, it’s, you really hit on a really key point, to get into the professional space and, and again, That that implies again, any sports team, any college, any rehab clinic, or any high-end consumer that’s into, fitness 6 days a week or 7 days a week. you have to provide the right science the right science cannot be, this is a great strength machine.
Yeah. And, and I think this is the challenge with some of the existing players that tried to make it out to the consumer market so fast. I’ve always been challenged in the space. one of the things that I’ve always looked at was is how do you know I’m doing okay? when you hire a trainer or you work with a trainer or you work out on your own and you follow routine or a guided class, some of the time you don’t really see the real data.
I don’t know how you can see real data. without Embedding force blades because, optically, a person may look okay performing an exercise, but until you see the pressure, and how they’re handling the lift you really don’t know if they’re doing okay. So getting real-time data. while you’re actually performing the exercise is very fundamental to everything OxeFit does. And that’s why working with a large enterprise, to break it into, into that space was key in us saying, okay, now we’re ready.
We brought the right science because chances that if I, if I convinced a professional athlete to exclusively use this machine for their training, or if I convinced the like of Dr. James Andrews in sports medicine, to say, I need to deploy this across my rehab. Most probably I will address the consumer market and it became more of a form factor.
So after we launched the XP1 and by the way, it’s been quite successful in factors, more orders and than. Then then, you know, we’re, we’re trying to catch up as fast as we can delivering to the enterprise market. now we came up with a new form and a form that integrates really, again, cardio strength and force plates.
It’s going to be the first home machine that has integrated force plates into it. And all the science we learned in the B2B and all the hardening we had to do for the B2B. Now we’re bringing it to the home because the home client. is just as smart as a professional athlete, They want to have access to the same tools. You don’t have to be a professional athlete to be able to train like a professional athlete. The XS1 can do that today
Yeah, I think with that. And when you talk about the form factor, if, if folks haven’t seen it, it’s a big machine. when you, and especially with the force plates, so it’s kind of like almost like a deadlift platform with the Rabck on top of it. I know there’s a bench that maybe it comes with it or you can buy separately.
But certainly a lot of the shots I’ve seen has the bench included. And so in the kind of commercial segment, Not a huge deal. Like I said, the weights already take up a pretty significant portion of any space, but in the home you talk about how that’s been received and how you think about, you know, making that accessible in the, the home where somebody doesn’t have the space.
Yeah. Yeah, I think so. So the XB one, by the way, just to be clear, the XB one, the professional machine is six by eight. So still actually there’s a lot of homes that have it, but that’s not meant for the home. again, that’s meant for the B2B where you have, you know, a hundred. Athletes going at it.
Multi-user the whole concept of, you know, multi athletes can op you know, can work at, at the same time. the consumer machine actually is very, very, space efficient because it’s, when it’s folded, the width of the machine is a foot and a half. that deck only comes down. If you actually wanna do deck exercises, or if you wanna get in your bench and, or return on your bench and turn it into a rower, which is a standard lower.
So, it has, it has zero pushback. In fact, we’ve been getting quite a bit of compliments around the fact that, yeah, I don’t have to drill a hole somewhere and you can move it around and, and when you’re done, the deck actually falls up and just totally gets out of the way. So there’s been, zero negative feedback.
It’s been all positive and received well.
Yeah. And then on the kind of related to that in terms of accessibility and who is willing to pay for it, right? The, I think the, initial machine for the commercial market is around $6,000. Maybe the, at-home one is slightly cheaper. Can you just talk about pricing and if that’s been a hurdle as you’re continuing to get out there,
No, the consumer machine, the XS1 starts at, you know, right under $4,000 and goes to about 5,500. But the 4,000 machine already has all strength exercises and your ski cross. And then we give an opportunity for people to upgRabde, to include the water activity, all the hydro activities. So can knowing kayaking paddle board.
Rowing for another 899, I think upgRabde. And last one is gonna be the first home machine that has motorized Pilate for another $200. Now you have also home Pilate and, and home. So really if you look at, if you start thinking about when you walk into a house and you see what people have done, by the way me included when I started out, no longer the case, but you know, you got your, you know, you bought a bike, you bought a treadmill you bought a cable machine, and you bought a dumbbell row you got a in reality, Why do you need all these sepaRabte systems at the end of the day, you’re interested in on how well you’re performing.
You want to look at your data, as an end-to-end you don’t want to be looking at a spreadsheet or a, a data from a watch and a data from a different device. now you got one consolidated view. That’s got your cardio strength. All of a sudden you can mix in strength and cardio in the same actual routine.
You don’t have to get off and go to another machine. And, and it’s consolidated one price. So from a price point of view, it’s very efficient compared to buying your bike treadmill and everything else. from a data point of view, you’re looking at one app, one membership to access all your data, by the way, to access all the classes online that are no longer, just I’m a strength machine.
I offer only strength classes. I’m a cardio machine. I offer cardio classes all of a sudden you add up 3, 4, 5 memberships. So overall the Total cost of ownership. I, it’s been extremely effective and I think this is why we’ve seen the takeoff Rabte that has happened to us with XS1 I mean, it’s, It will be thousands of units this year and for a company to just launch a new product. That’s that’s, that’s, that’s passed a lot of targets I set have set, for
Definitely. And with that, we we’ve kind of talked about the overall system and there are other components, right. That I wanna talk about in terms of the content and maybe the software that’s getting created behind that, but just on the strength itself, what is generating that force? There are a couple different systems, Magnets, pulleys, and different things. So how are you approaching it?
It’s motorized resistance. that’s controlled via a cloud software that controls the resistance that gives you the, the effective force. we can do on the strength machine. That’s meant for the B2B. We can do up to 547 pounds. Which is unheard of in anything that’s, you know, plate-free or weight-free of actual physical, weight, and all controlled by the same software that controls the XS1 this is really great as well because now the data migrates with you. So someone really just wants to stay with the XP1 because he wants more of the in-depth techniques. Their app as well, works across the board on the XS1 machine. physically actually we tested north of 275 pounds, which is probably the highest, resistance, machine out in the market for home.
Now, what we limited in the software and what we told people was not to go beyond 250 pounds pounds but it’s the same principles. Instead of, 4 motors for the XP1 it’s 2 motors. We also came up with this concept to what I call freestyle. So if someone really knows what they’re doing and they just want to apply a weight to, the deck or a weight to the vertical, you don’t have to restrict yourself to a certain exercise.
You could actually just perform. Based on any of the accessories, whatever exercise you want, as long as it’s under that weight limit. So it gives people the flexibility. all of a sudden, while you’re rowing, you can turn your arms over and start doing your curls, sitting at your rower seat. I mean, just think about the creativity.
Now fitness becomes exciting. It’s you don’t get bored with it. You’re not restricted to routine 1, 2, 3, you really mix and match what you want. And if you want to dial into a class, you just dial into a class. And if it’s one day, it’s a Pilates class one day, it’s a rowing class. It’s a skier class. It’s et Cetera
Yeah, I think with that. And, and just hearing you talk about it, when you talk about, you know, what you’re measuring, how you’re approaching it, the channels you’re trying to sell through kind of starting with the, the B2B, most. I think initially, and, and, and if not a majority of the companies, especially in the at-home space are focused on kind of this instructor-led or class-based recreating boutique fitness.
This is definitely a more performance-driven athletic-driven approach. so how does that translate into the content? What am I seeing as a, you know, user/subscriber and, how do you develop that talent in classes or coaching, whatever it might be.
Yeah. So, so one of the things that, again, back to thinking. about The principles of B2B, if you think about B2B aspects whether you’re a patient listening to a physical therapist, or you’re a professional athlete working with a trainer, the another principle that was there, day one for us is the two-way communication.
Most, platforms that put things out there so far, it’s one-way audio, or one-way video, and you’re dialing into classes, we do all of that. And there’ll be plenty of classes. In fact, the machine ships with more than 2000 hours of content and all the things that you see but since we had to support the ability for a coach to pop in and actually look at the client while they’re training or the athlete.
Patient or the sports doctor and look at their stats real-time and actually try to adjust their movement or make their changes. We brought those same principles on the consumer machine. down the road, we are going to see things like people actually competing with each other. So I don’t have to dial into a class.
You don’t have to dial in a class, you have access to XS1 One. and I have access to an XS1 Let’s say you. And I want to row against each other. now we can, You watch my stats, I watch your stats and we go out there and compete. So we embed quite a bit of software to enable the machine, to actually respond to a two-way-type event versus.
Just listening to a teacher. Right. And that’s a plenty, plenty good for everyone. And we’re gonna do that, but why can’t we compete right. Again, that brings the fun aspect and every person, the bottom line, they’re a competitor. It doesn’t matter if you’re a professional athlete or not. now all of a sudden, again, wellness becomes fun.
So competition is something you’re going to see on the XS1 that’s going to be a lot of fun.
Yeah, it sounds super exciting to think about when, you know, there’s obviously the. Kind of cardio capabilities, but even bringing that to like the strength training world, it doesn’t really exist to be able to, you know, have those stats and go back and forth and compete.
So a step further, right? When you think about the, the strength training aspect and, and adding the innovation and technology to it, is there an ability to, let’s say recommend the weight? I should be lifting control that weight throughout recommend that I, you know, maybe go higher. Do. Eccentric movements.
What all is, is coming to it from the, the
Yeah, so, you know, just like in the case of cardio, where they give you the obvious cardio metrics in the case of, power, we give you the velocity and the power real-time. and as you do, whether you do eccentric or concentric overload, you know, you can actually make the adjustment not only on specific exercises.
So all of a sudden it’s enabled across your barbell, across your single handle single arm. Waste harness. I mean, that’s another thing that’s really important and critical. A lot of people don’t pay attention to kind of the traditional back problems people have. So having the ability to do waste harness and do an eccentric concent overload, all of a sudden, you put more focus around your legs and, and protect your back.
Right? These are very difficult to do in software, and we’ve implemented that. So, so we’ll continue to evolve that. There’s another concept we introduce is probation loading. So it’s nice to be able to work your core, not recognizing where some of the Random kind of movements are coming from. So now all of a sudden you can set your probation Rate and get into the exercise.
And while you’re doing just, let’s say a back squad, you can actually introduce 20, 30, 40%, a hundred percent probation. So. All of a sudden, instead of just working the typical muscle group that comes along with back squat. Now you’re working your core muscle group, working in your balance because you’re standing on a force plate.
So think about doing a traditional back squat with probation, but at the same time, you’re watching your balance meter. So there’s actually a real-time balance meter that tells you, you know, your balance or by the way, you may actually feel great, but it looks like you’re compensating on the left. All these metrics are really important because now you know about the problem early versus after the fact, if you have a problem,
Yeah. A couple things that we’ve talked about so far, I Rather it’s come up a couple times. sports, performance, performance in general athletes, kinda like everybody’s an athlete. more specif. This case you have a number of athlete investors. You mentioned the first machine shipping to, I think you said it was a professional sports team.
So when it comes to, I think it’s Jalen Ramsey, Dak Prescott you can go through the whole list if, if you want to, but a number of athletes and folks, Dustin Johnson, the golfer, are involved. How did that come about? What’s the value of having them involved and kinda is that essential to this?
You know, Blending the performance, and the athletic, kind of inspiration going forward.
We love our, athlete investors, they’re family to us.
I love them because sometimes they come here and actually do the rehab here. So they just walk in and say, Hey, I’m going to bring in my PT and I’m going to do my rehab on it. There’s no bigger vote of confidence than that. When you have a professional athlete and you can imagine with all the tools that typical professional sports organization have, and yet they stop by and do a workout or do a, you know, let’s say on a rehab regiment and they’re deploying it here, I think that what’s really different.
And, and you’ve seen this with probably a lot of brands where they bring in a lot of athlete, supporters, I think the difference, I think Joe, you need to know is I, I have not paid any of my athletes a dime. in fact, every athlete ended up investing and none of them were asked to invest. Some were asked just to be part of the OxeFit personality and every single one ended up investing in the company.
The List is growing larger and larger because I think they see how real this tech is.
This is not another just gadget, This is a machine that’s got quite a bit of science. That’s going to be very difficult to replicate it’s science that actually provides realtime data that helps them. Stay healthy. And that’s the fundamental thing about athletes is really is, is being healthy.
So they can obviously they’re very talented. Otherwise they wouldn’t be professional athletes. It’s pretty competitive, but them staying healthy and them staying consistent. because consistency is another thing that I think all of them deal with and seeing realtime data, how you’re doing, how you’re training, how you’re improving session over session pre-game and post-game and getting assessment.
That’s another capability we have in the machine. it’s just giving them all the tools, hopefully to get better. it’s been validated by, a. wide Spectrum of athletes with different backgrounds, from football to basketball, to baseball, and to ceteRab, golf. and there’s gonna be a long list coming, that we have not announced yet.
And, we love them and we hope to grow. with them they great. There is no better validation than those guys. And by the way, we have the same thing in the sports medicine side. we have seveRabl sports, doctors that actually also are investors, that deal with specific athlete injuries as. well We only announced Dr. Andrews, but we’ll be announcing few more, in the coming months.
Yeah, the synergies definitely make sense from the validation from the branding, and just having that kind of support and guidance as well, is you’re appealing to the athlete and everyone having those athletes on board, it goes a long way. if we maybe zoom out a little bit and I think it’ll be interesting to hear your thoughts on this specifically, because I talked to a lot of D.
Founders CEOs investors in the space. And obviously over the last two years, we’ve had the, you know, crazy boom of connected fitness and especially at-home. And now maybe that softening a little bit different companies seeing different kind of results. You going to the kind of B2B market initially, right?
It’s not as, maybe not as huge of a swing in terms of that pendulum. when you think about now, Most of the conversation centers around like, Hey, it’s gonna be an omnichannel experience or some type of hybrid experience where people will work out where they want to, they want the convenience of at-home.
Maybe they do go to the gym. Do you see that as being part offi strategy that I would use the same machine at-home, maybe at the PT and then at the, whatever the gym is down the street, or do you think it’s gonna be more siloed and you just have a presence kind of in these different places?
This is, I mean, you really hit on a good spot because I think most of the machines out there honestly capitalized on the pandemic, you know, and where we thought, and you see articles still that are one or two years. Some of ‘em maybe even on, on your show. they talk about how everybody coming home and they want all the tools at-home.
And, and to me, I don’t understand why there should be a difference. I mean, to me, I, if I’m a member with OxeFit and I, I bought an XS1 machine and happened to be in Dubai, I should be able to scan my barcode. And if it’s the XS1 machine, that’s in a gym or a hotel, and all of a sudden that machine looks like my home machine.
And when I’m done, I scan the code again and logs out. Right. So to me is this whole. You know, this is a home machine. This is a rehab. This is a, I, I don’t know why the differentiation, but I think we have to draw that differentiation. And, and this is again, why we picked the more difficult problem. Day one is you cannot take a consumer machine and make it a commercial Grid machine.
A machine that’s used by a family is a whole lot different than a machine that’s used by a hundred pro athletes or used by a college student body or used by a rehab clinic in a hospital. You can say it is, but it’s not. There’s, there’s a thing about hardening the software, the hardware, to be able to handle multi-user accounts.
Multiple profiles, keep track of the data, keep track of the traffic, just simple traffic usage, right? When you have hundred different people getting on it in a day or a thousand for that matter versus again, a family of five, they may use it three times a week. So what they’re having to do is kinda what can we do to reboot what we have so we can handle the traffic now that people are going back to the gym.
You know, lucky or not, this is why we said, let’s just go after the enterprise day one, if I can figure out the difficult problem I can do the mass household problem. And, and I think that’s proven out to be extremely valuable for us. and that’s why we’re in a growth phase versus some of what you’ve seen, where people are going a little bit backwards.
Yeah, it’s super compelling. And you mentioned that being in the growth phase and in some ways, not being able to keep up with demand, which is a great problem. but I think to this point, Relatively you’ve Raised $35M at least what’s public. That’s fairly conservative given what you’re building in terms of hardware and technology.
How have you done that, you know, with, with that funding and, how do you think about continuing to finance the business going forward?
Joe, I’ve been, I’ve been around for, doing tech companies for, 30 years. And, I’m, You’ve got to protect your shareholders and you’ve got to not spend ahead of yourself and, and have proof points along the way. This is a company that’s actually generating sales and cash in the door.
You know, we controlled our burn. We’re in growth phase. We have orders, across both product lines. and by the way, our margins are pretty healthy. we’re not having to do a lot of, specials to do specials kind of thing. and, you know, we’re managing, So I, again, and, and access to capital, you know, that’s not going to be an issue, But right now so far, we, we have not announced all the Raises, but we’ve announced the close of roughly $35M in capital.
And, we’ll continue to Rabise the money, as we prove ourselves to our shareholders. And, so far it’s been a good, good run, and we’re going to continue to go after it, but, the amount of capital Raised, has nothing to do with the health of a company.
It really has nothing to do with it.
Yeah, absolutely. and maybe one more related question as we get towards the end of the conversation, as you think about, you know, continuing to, to build going forward, you mentioned the financing being part of that. obviously building this hardware and shipping it during the kind of unknown times of the pandemic, have you run into how have you navigated supply chain and, manufac.
Yeah, it’s gonna be like a, a repeated theme. So for us, again, to go after the enterprise traffic, one of the biggest decisions we made, we’re gonna do manufacturing here.
So our first manufacturing facility is actually in Texas. It’s 25,000 square feet in Texas. This is where the XB is manufactured and the first thousand XS1 units are built.
And we’re gonna continue to scale that we’re gonna offset that by other facilities, as we need to, but day one. To make sure I control the quality. And this is really comes from, you know, again, building one or two or three companies is we said, we’re gonna do it here in the country and we’re gonna do it right.
We’re gonna make sure we don’t have any quality issues. And, that’s proved to be extremely valuable right now, especially with all, You know what the pandemic caused a lot of people, unfortunately, and delays and, shipments and shortages. But, but, but supply chain shortages are out there and we have the same challenges probably that others share, but at least I can control the manufacturing and delivery aspect of it.
So, that also is proved to be very helpful for us.
Yeah, for sure.
And then last question before we get you outta here. We talked about quite a bit today, and thinking about where you’re going to—from a demand perspective, from a product perspective, and continuing to scale—if we fast forwarded a little bit and got into the second half of the year, is there anything on the roadmap or radar that you’re particularly excited about or that we should be on the lookout for?
Yeah. Along with just scaling everywhere across both consumer and business segments, I think you’ll see quite a bit of fun around content and gaming that’s gonna be unique to the market and unique to our solution. We’ll be announcing that probably toward the second half of the year.
That’s great. It’s exciting to see more modalities and approaches coming to the space, so we’ll definitely be following along and probably covering that as the news comes out.
For anybody listening, where would you tell them to follow along or keep up with what do you have going on?
Yeah, so, two things: follow us on social media at OxeFit, and also at OxeFit.com. We’ll continue to update everybody, but thank you, Joe, for taking the time as well. I enjoyed very much the conversation.
Yeah, likewise. Thanks for joining us.