In this episode we interview Mohammed Iqbal, Founder & CEO of SweatWorks. SweatWorks’ mission is ‘to make health and fitness more accessible to more people.’ They’ve consulted with companies such as: Schwinn, Nike, Beachbody, Strava, SoulCycle, Garmin, & Bose, to name a few.
The story of Mohammed’s journey from the Middle East to America, and from being out of shape to living his healthiest life possible, is compelling.
Here are just a few of the key points we discuss …
- How did Mohammed transform his childhood experiences into SweatWorks, a company with a vision of ‘wellness for all’?
- Why do some of the biggest brand names in the wellness industry need the help of agencies like SweatWorks?
- How do you collect data from your customers, and then contextualize it?
- Which popular wellness metrics does Mohammed not love? Which ones does he think are more important?
- How is ‘machine learning’ changing our understanding of what it means to be healthy?
- Over the last few years, what have we learned about working out from home?
- Where does Mohammed see the intersection of wellness & fitness going over the next 10 years?
… and much more.
Here’s one great quote from this episode:
“I made the connection between what I eat, and what it served to me … and that was an epiphany.” – Mohammed Iqbal
You’re going to want to share this episode with a friend when you’re done listening.
FULL SHOW NOTES, LINKS, QUOTES, & CREDITS:
2:00: In this conversation, Mohamed talks about his fascinating health journey: as a young child in the Middle East, he grew up walking everywhere, eating food with his hands, and living a life where he didn’t have to think about wellness …
… until he moved to America, where Cinabons, Cocoa Pebbles, Ben & Jerry’s, Coca-Cola, and too much of everything became the norm.
However, he’s quick to point out that “The country (America) affords you opportunity and access. It’s up to you what you do with it. You could live the healthiest life in the world here.”
Mohammed talks candidly about his experience as ‘the fat kid’, running the mile in the slowest time out of 600 kids in the President’s Challenge at school:
“This doesn’t feel right. I wanted to be able to do things. I decided to commit. I’m going to be different. I picked up a book called Optimum Sports Nutrition, and really took that to heart.” (by Dr. Michael Colgan)
“I made the connection between what I eat, and what it served to me … and that was an epiphany.”
“I joined the track club, and, long story short, by senior year, I ran the mile in 4:32, which was the fastest time in the school.”
“The gap between me as a freshman and me as a senior was knowledge, and it was access to knowledge.”
You can hear the origins of SweatWorks rising in his story.
How did Mohammed start to manifest his experience into purposeful action with SweatWorks?
“I really believed in this idea of bringing in data to help engagement in fitness. In 2012 I started SweatWorks as a digital agency that was purely focused on fitness, and I committed to using data and research to drive decisions that we make.
Our vision is wellness for all. Really, what we are about is working with either startup or established brands to help them recruit customers that we know they can relate to, and then keep them there by showing them change, helping them with their journey, and really being engaged with the whole process of living a wellness based life.”
How does SweatWorks help brands grow?
What’s the culture like at SweatWorks?
How many projects does SweatWorks have going on at any given time?
Why do some of the biggest brand names in the wellness industry need the help of agencies like SweatWorks?
How do you collect data from your customers, and then contextualize it?
Mohammed talks about the difference between the two-dimensional & three-dimensional worlds of the wellness industry … and how SweatWorks helps people & products meet each other where they are.
Which popular wellness metrics does Mohammed not love?
Which ones does he think are more important?
How is ‘machine learning’ changing our understanding of what it means to be healthy?
How does SweatWorks aim to bring the benefits of technology closer to us, without increasing its invasiveness?
Over the last few years, what have we learned about working out from home?
What is toning, and how can that help with stress? Is there anyone or anything else out there that can help us monitor stress … in real time? Paradigm, TX, 98% accuracy.
“Our circumstance is not fixed; it’s dynamic. But why do we keep training in a structured program, when life is not a structured program?”
What is the state of data collection for nutrition?
“Nutrition is King, and exercise is Queen.”
“Whatever you eat, if it’s a glass of water, just take a picture, scan it, and you’re done. It’s gotta be that simple … It’s gotta be frictionless. We’re not there yet. Right now where we are at is, we’re getting really good at recommendations … ‘Eat more of this, and less of that.’ … The next evolution is looking at what you’re eating in the real world, and then tracking and driving behaviors based off of that.”
Where does Mohammed see the intersection of wellness & fitness going over the next 10 years?
“Our healthcare system today is the best in the world at fixing something that is broken in you. We are very fortunate to be here, but it’s also inaccessible. Forty percent of Americans are either uninsured or underinsured.
On the other hand, we’re focused on wellness, on the preventative. The pandemics that we’re in today … I’m talking about obesity, heart disease … other pandemics that people have not been focused on. We’re focused on changing that.
“I think that’s where the intersection is going to happen … to where the preventative and the reactionary sides are going to come together, to really form one cohesive ecosystem.”
“SweatWorks is a digital wellness technology agency unlike any other. We pursue innovation to help people live healthier lives by making fitness accessible to all, whilst engaging and beautiful. By collaborating with the leading fitness and wellness brands we provide strategy, product development, industrial/user experience design and software/hardware engineering services to produce first-to-market fitness products that help improve people’s lives.”
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Musical Credits: “Limitless” by MusicbyAden & tubebackr. Creative Commons — Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported — CC BY-ND 3.0. Free Download / Stream. Music promoted by Audio Library.