We chatted with George Foreman III, founder of Boston-based EverybodyFights®, about what inspires him as a business owner and what’s next for the rising BOXFIIT™ brand.
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO START EVERYBODYFIGHTS?
Boxing brought a lot to my life. I grew up in a boxing gym but was never a boxer, per say. When I was 24, I was in the business world and about 60 pounds overweight. I started boxing to help lose weight and get in shape, which brought a whole new confidence and attitude towards my personal and business life. I boxed professionally for a while, yet over time, found that I loved training other people even more than training myself. That experience of impacting people’s lives putting them on the right path, giving them the confidence they needed to accomplish goals outside the gym, became more of a passion for me than boxing.
EVERYBODYFIGHTS OFFERS A VARIETY OF CLASSES, FROM BOXING TO BOOT-CAMP, TO YOGA AND PILATES. HOW DO YOU BALANCE THE VARIETY OF CLASSES OFFERED INTO ONE COHERENT BRAND?
The BOXFIIT™ workout is a combination of class series, because they’re all meaningful to how a boxer should train. You think of the typical boxing gym as having bags and a ring with ropes, but boxers don’t just train like that. If you want to box for 30-40 years, you have to stretch every day, cross train, and constantly focus on restoring your body. Eventually, all boxers migrate to something like yoga or Pilates to maintain flexibility and recovery time. Even Pilates was originally invented by a boxer: Joseph Pilates. Muhammad Ali did Pilates—he may have not called it Pilates, but what he was doing were the fundamental Pilates movements. So much of boxing training is about being able to not just throw a punch but receive one without going down. So cross-training has always been part of boxing culture, and the sport is performed in intervals so I’m not necessarily putting a new spin on boxing; I’m taking what I’ve been taught all my life and putting it into a modern fitness atmosphere.
BOXING HAS BEEN A HUGE TREND IN THE FITNESS INDUSTRY IN RECENT YEARS. WHAT DO YOU SEE AS THE NEXT PHASE OF CAPITALIZING ON THIS FOR YOUR BUSINESS?
Our goal is not to beat our competitors but to service our competitors. In the long run our competitors are going to need high-quality content, tools, and support. We’re aiming to open a few company-owned gyms within the next 24 months and franchising starts this winter, but we are make our content, processes, and app available to any trainer that wants to get certified or gym owner who wants to affiliate. We believe that competition is all about execution and it is your competition makes you better. Furthermore if my competitor creates a great boxing experience, that’s carving out a bigger market for boxing in general, and bringing more people into the industry. Above all we’re looking to be a leading service provider in the space.
TELL US ABOUT THE HEALTHWORKS AND GYMIT PARTNERSHIP. HOW DID THAT COME TO BE?
There’s a growing need for big box gym facilities to have a boutique experience. Healthworks, a largely successful gym chain in the Boston area, came to us and said, “We love what you do and were interested in adding BOXFIIT™ within our GymIt location.”
If you’re going to do it properly, you need to control the experience. We built out a prefabricated classroom in their gym to look just like ours. For trainers, I offered an online certification with pre-recorded videos, and prospective trainers would submit moves for me to grade them. I held Skype calls with trainers to ensure nothing was lost in translation. It took us about two weeks to build the classroom with equipment, and six weeks to train instructors. It’s a similar training program as in my own gym, and for me, it doesn’t matter what your background is. Even if you’re a professional boxer, you still need to go through the BOXFIIT™ certification to teach at one of our facilities. These training classes also qualify for continuing education credits with NASM, AFAA and ACE.
HOW DO YOU THINK THROUGH WHERE YOU WANT TO EXPAND NEXT?
The BOXFIIT™ class series is our most important element, because it’s the fitness experience we’re providing. To grow this, I see a lot of opportunity with our affiliate program. This is for existing gyms that want to teach BOXFIIT Classes. We also just finished up an app that allows trainers to press play and deliver the content and music for the workout with a touch of a button which allows our trainers to just teach without focusing on the timing, music, etc.
We’re also growing fast and plan more gyms in Boston, including one opening this coming January, and a few in NYC. Our ultimate goal is to grow the company and achieve great success through franchising so that wherever boxing is taught, I can go to BOXFIIT™ for my content.
WHAT’S BEEN THE MOST REWARDING PART OF BEING A BUSINESS OWNER?
Just yesterday, a young woman I’d never met sent me a direct message through Instagram, mentioning how much she loved boxing, and how she’d started because of me. To go out and throw on a pair of gloves and get into boxing, and to be that sincere and excited, even though we never met, was very cool and inspiring to me. It’s a testament to the strength of our team at EverybodyFights and what we are building and I’m excited to continue to share the BOXFIIT experience around the world.
ABOUT GEORGE FOREMAN III
EverybodyFights® (EBF) was founded by George Foreman III, son of George Foreman Sr. George III spent his entire youth absorbing the history and art form that is boxing and boxing training. He went on to pursue his own professional boxing career in 2009 and finished with a perfect 16-0 record. In 2013, George set out to bring the art of boxing fitness to the masses when he opened gym in Boston. George designed an entirely new, holistic fitness program that combined proven training methodologies both he and his father used, with new school high-intensity interval training elements. The result is BOXFIIT™.