In this Q&A, you’ll hear from Brandon Bean, co-founder & CEO of Lumin Fitness, a tech-driven boutique HIIT studio. Brandon discusses how his time leading Gold’s Gym led to Lumin’s motion-tracking, personalized, and gamified in-person concept.
Tell us about Lumin Fitness.
Brandon Bean: Lumin Fitness is The World’s Smartest Fitness Studio. We are transforming brick-and-mortar fitness by bringing together the latest advances in technology to deliver a gamified and hyper-personalized workout experience.
Without having to wear any special gear or hardware, the Lumin Smart Movement Ecosystem provides exercisers real-time form feedback, rep counting, equipment tracking and recommendations, personal bests for movements, and much more.
Built to drive results, our proprietary system leverages artificial intelligence, motion tracking, and object detection to create the most intelligent, interactive, and individualized fitness experience in the world. All our classes are focused on high-intensity functional training and are offered every 45 minutes throughout the day, providing the ultimate convenience for our members.
Our dynamic wall-to-wall LED screens create an interactive and immersive environment that changes daily and evolves over time. Members can personalize music choices via wireless earbuds and customize which AI trainer persona motivates them best. They also have the ability to interact with the space and earn rewards through the Lumin game economy.
Our game economy allows members to earn Lumin Coin as they work out, which they can then redeem for rewards such as early booking privileges, station selection, the ability to bring a friend, and Lumin Store gear purchases.
Our studio automatically checks members in, directs them to their dedicated station, and guides and motivates them safely and effectively through their workout. While the technology we have built can improve a lot about today’s fitness experience, the human element is still important, and because of that, we have a Lumin coach in every class.
What led you to pursue this opportunity?
BB: I spent much of my career in the fitness franchising space. During my tenure as chairman and CEO of Gold’s Gym, I had a front-row seat to the evolution of the industry and the consumer space.
Technology was enabling tremendous advances in wearables, connected devices, and apps across the industry, but in-person fitness was not participating in those advances. A vital component of a successful fitness journey is the community that in-person fitness provides. Knowing this, I wanted to find a way to harness the power of technology while still embracing the power of community.
Today’s fitness consumer has grown up with a smartphone in their hand, and as a result, they have higher expectations. So, we set out to create a fitness experience that caters to these digital natives.
This covers every aspect of our relationship with them, from signing up for a membership, booking and canceling classes, leveraging data to show their true fitness progress over time, and every step in between.
Starting a concept like this from scratch has a lot of challenges, but it also has innumerable benefits. For one, we’re not hampered in any way by legacy issues, either internally or externally.
We realized that by starting with a blank sheet of paper and leveraging the power of technology, we could create an experience that solved problems for both the consumer and the studio operator in ways that no other concepts could.
However, the moment that really sparked the creation of Lumin was when we realized that we could create something proprietary that would serve a growing market that does good in the world.
Beyond making the experience fun and engaging, Lumin’s tools make fitness effective. The immersive and interactive experience that we have created allows our members to benefit from a reduction in perceived exertion, resulting in a better workout in a shorter period of time.
How did you turn your idea into a company?
BB: I’ve spent most of my career working for larger corporations, but I’ve always wanted to be a part of a startup. Once we put together our team of technology, industry, operating, and capital partners, it was an easy and exciting decision for me to fully dedicate myself to bringing this idea to life.
What we have accomplished at Lumin would not have been possible without the right people. Omeed Shams, my technical co-founder, is a major driving force behind what we’ve created, and we’ve had a shared vision from the beginning. Lumin Fitness is not just another business venture for us. It’s a dream, a passion, and a mission to transform the fitness landscape.
While it has been a four-year journey to debut our concept, it has been intentionally made up of smaller milestones along the way. From pitch deck to proof of concept to prototype to our first studio in Las Colinas, TX, we laid out plans and executed on them.
As a result, each successful milestone has allowed us to attract new team members, investors, and partners along the way who have seen us deliver on our promises.
How big can this get?
BB: The global fitness industry is larger than it has ever been, with studio fitness accounting for much of that growth. Because our smart movement ecosystem is based on technology, our solution easily translates internationally to other languages and cultural norms, resulting in a large market for Lumin.
Another strength, from day one, Lumin has been purpose-built for franchising, which allows us to grow faster.
Our franchise operators benefit from a low-labor model to help drive margins and ease operations, as well as automated tools to help drive retention, referrals, and class demand — all of which drive studio revenues.
Additionally, franchisees know their local territory and can build a local community extremely well, both really important elements for fitness.
To help us grow in the right way, we’re on the lookout for a select group of franchise prospects: those who share our vision and are as passionate about the brand as we are. We believe that with the right partners, we can redefine how technology and fitness coexist.
How do you reach your core customer?
BB: In addition to capturing a small portion of an already large fitness market, we’re seeing our concept appeal to a much broader audience than just traditional fitness consumers.
Our studio space removes much of the intimidation factor associated with fitness: Everyone has their own individual station within the studio, movements are shown throughout the workout and are easy to modify, and feedback and form correction are delivered via in-ear audio, so no one is publicly called out.
We also offer classes throughout the day when traditional boutique studios are closed. With today’s flexible work schedules and our ability to have small group classes with just as much energy as large classes, we’re attracting a fitness consumer who previously didn’t have options that worked for them.
Because our experience is centered on smartphones, social media is an obvious place to find more customers. And because the look and feel of our studio is so distinct with the immersive, interactive LED walls, studio visuals and user-generated content are a big part of our digital presence.
Also, word-of-mouth has always been a major driver of fitness membership, so we built a very simple and rewarding member referral process into the app to make it easy for people to learn about us from people who love us.
In that regard, it’s critical that we continue to strengthen our community bonds. We believe that by consistently delivering on our promise of a unique, tech-infused workout experience, our members will be our best ambassadors.
What’s next on the roadmap?
BB: We are concentrated on awarding our first domestic and international franchises and providing best-in-class support. Finding the right partners is critical, not only because it’s a long-term relationship but also because the performance of these early studios is important. We’re looking for well-capitalized partners who are great operators.
Internally, our product team is continually working on new features that will allow us to provide an intelligent, interactive, and personalized fitness experience — and we’re excited to launch new app and studio features soon!
Anything else you’d like to share with readers?
BB: We believe there is a tremendous opportunity to leverage our Smart Movement Ecosystem across other studio modalities as well as outside of the boutique fitness segment.
We would love to have any Fitt Insider readers reach out if they are interested in talking about what we are doing or how it can apply to them.
If you’re interested in having your company featured in our Q&A series, send an email to email@example.com.