Jennifer Hummel is co-owner of Catalyst Fit- a Richmond, Virginia based fitness boutique. After spending 15 years working at Gold’s Gym and eventually owning a club, she decided to open Catalyst Fit with her partner Jesse Kid to deliver personalized fitness training. We sat down with Jennifer to learn more about her experience working with Styku, and how it’s helped deliver truly custom personal fitness to her clients.
Styku: Can you tell us more about Catalyst Fit, and how you work with Styku?
JH: We are a fitness boutique. We opened in October 2016 to better take care of our clients through personal and fitness training to get accurate results. I spent the last 15 years working for Gold’s Gym - went from the front desk all way to being a club owner. The big box gyms are great for making money, but not for getting the members the quality attention needed to reach their goals.
We thought Catalyst Fit would take off on fitness testing, but it’s actually helped us build a personal training business with an older demographic- our oldest client is actually 81 years old. It’s really cool that the technology brought him in, and they really like that we’re using science to get them results. They’re educated people who don’t want to be treated like every tom dick and harry, or treated like they’re old. With all the testing we have available, and with Styku being a part of that, we help them get healthier by digging in.
Styku has definitely been a differentiator with older clients, but also professional and recreational athletes who participate in Spartan challenges and want to dial in.
Styku: How has Styku shaped your relationship with clients?
JH: What I love about Styku is, even though we’re so emotionally attached to the scale, we’re getting to know that health more about body composition and not weight.
For clients who are interested in learning more, Styku is great stuff. It really helps them dial in and understand, but they also get hooked on not only the uniqueness of the scan, but also their own uniqueness. I weigh 145 pounds but compared to another woman of the same height she might have five to ten pounds to lose based on her body composition. That’s something a scale doesn’t have insight into.
Styku: How has Styku helped a boutique gym like yours deliver personalized fitness training and benchmarking?
JH: Everyone is made of different things, and we all have different needs. People feel like they can get that personal touch with a boutique gym, and scans help us do that through detailed analysis. Once you scan somebody, it’s amazing how they just open up to you and share everything you need to know to build a rapport with them. As you explain the science they’re just floored. I used to sell gym memberships and it takes a special person to build a rapport and not everyone has it, Styku makes it pretty easy.
JH: Styku is also a great ice breaker; it creates a judgement free zone where clients want to tell us where they’re coming from, and what they want to do. Which is very important because we can’t help someone if they’re holding back information. It’s like giving them a bottle of wine- all of a sudden we’re having this revealing conversation like we’ve known each other for years.
Styku: Can you tell us a little bit more about Styku has changed the way you customize training and programs especially compared to big box gyms like Gold’s?
JH: Styku is definitely a conversation point, and I sometimes use a complimentary scan as a way to get people in the door. It’s also made us more confident in talking to people about their nutrition. As a rule of a thumb I never wanted my personal trainers to prescribe diets, because you can’t guesstimate the client’s calorie intake even if you use food journals. More importantly if you underestimate the calories the client won’t keep up with the diet, and they’ll stop coming in.
We’ve used handheld bioimpedance devices and they just don’t tell us enough about the client’s potential. When I talk about Styku, I talk about it as way to understand their potential
For example we use the fat loss to get them down to an average of fit range, and then I explain how that fat loss won’t translate to the scale because we’re about strength training. But when they see the scan of themselves, and the numbers, everything clicks. They really understand what I’m talking about, that it’s not just about weight.
Clients say, ‘are you kidding me? I’ll be at a fit body composition at 21% body fat, or 15% for a guy? They’re like, ‘Ok, I can do that.’ That’s a really big difference, and that’s how Styku has been really powerful in getting people onboard, and believing in themselves.
Styku: Do you find that Styku’s accurate results help retain clients?
JH: You know what’s interesting? Styku helps keep my personal trainers accountable because we’re scanning our clients monthly and we want to be 100% truthful in getting them results. It’s not fair to put all of that accountability on the client, but Styku puts some of that accountability back on the trainer.
That lack of accountability was the biggest thing when I was working in fitness clubs. I would see members come in 5-6 days a week for months and they wouldn’t see any changes. I didn’t know how to help them, and here they were putting in the time but weren’t getting results because we couldn’t dial in their nutrition, and we didn’t have their personal body composition.
All we did was trying to match them to what works for everybody else. I had to give them credit for coming in, because how do you keep coming in if your body never changes?
Styku: Can you tell us about how you’ve transformed one of your clients using Styku?
JH: One of our clients is a diabetic and has an insulin pump. In two months he dropped 20 lbs, 18 of it was body fat and he went from 75 units of insulin down to 30. We wouldn’t be talking to someone with diabetes about what they should be eating if we did not have their specific numbers to start with. That confidence on our end can be explained and passed on to our client.
We thought fitness testing was going to be huge, everybody we sat in front of and explained the testing they all became training clients. We were thinking we’d have another trainer in maybe nine months later, but I had to bring one in eight weeks later because the demand was so high.
We were able to bring people in on personal training because we really put our money where our mouth is with the fitness training. People want to benchmark, and measure their results with fitness testing, but really turn to us to help them get there with personal training.