En route to the global expansion of her fitness brand, FitFighter founder Sarah Apgar first needed to swim in a room full of "sharks" - these sharks, however, had giant checkbooks in place of them. 'a hammer.
Its product, the Steelhose, an "all-in-one" training tool with the look and feel of a fire hose and the ability to mimic anything from dumbbells to kettlebells, already had generated buzz among America's top trainers and biggest fire department. However, entering into a much needed $ 250,000 investment partnership with KIND Founder and Executive Chairman Daniel Lubetzky, during his ABC's presentation Shark aquarium, was the financial support Apgar needed to reach fitness crowds around the world.
Since the episode aired, Apgar says the buzz for Steelhose has grown significantly, with sales exploding and FitFighter's social media gaining new attention.
“We went from maybe 2,000 people who knew about FitFighter to now millions of people who know us after the episode,” says Apgar. “Our customer service team has been open 24/7 since [last week]. "
HISTORY OF FITFIGHTER
The name FitFighter, according to Apgar, symbolizes preparedness for any situation, which could also apply to the background of the Maryland-born entrepreneur. The mother of two served in the army in Mosul during Operation Iraqi Freedom after graduating from Princeton, where she was an American rugby player.
Even after landing what she thought was a perfect job as New Store Manager at prescription eyewear retailer Warby Parker, Apgar wasn't quite ready for post-military civilian life. She decided to volunteer with the Halesite Fire Department in Huntington, Long Island, NY to track down some of the Army diet that was missing from its routine.
“I had a very difficult time leaving the military because I liked the military lifestyle,” says Apgar. “I liked the expectations set and being on a team all the time. This camaraderie failed me, and volunteer firefighters felt like a way to regain some of this community and this lifestyle in my life. And it definitely served that purpose.
Understanding how firefighters trained for their roles and noticing some shortcomings, Apgar began to create prototypes of Steelhose in his garage, cutting pieces of fire hoses and then filling them with sand, creating a tool that created the feeling. to drag a 150 foot complètement- charged fire hose behind you and carrying down the stairs and around corners.
Its breakdown came when a colleague introduced the product to FDNY Fire Academy, the largest fire academy training program in the United States. Showcasing how the Steelhose could be integrated into the department's training program, the academy began incorporating the Steelhose into its three-week candidate training program.
“For me, when the sales manager of FDNY took 20 seconds to watch what I was doing and brought out the fitness instructors and the strength and conditioning trainers from the department, that's when I felt that my idea was validated.
STEEL PIPE IN ACTION
Apgar soon discovered that in addition to simulating firefighter movements, the Steelhose, which comes in sizes ranging from 5 pounds to 40 pounds, can also serve as a full body training tool capable of replicating exercises normally. performed with a dumbbell, barbell, kettlebell. , Bulgarian bag, medicine ball and even a hammer.
In addition to being able to perform all types of pressure, pull and curling movements, Apgar designed the Steelhose to withstand constant slaps and throws and drag on all surfaces.
“FitFighter really grew out of the idea that it wasn't just a firefighter training tool,” says Apgar. “It was a tool that was going to be for anyone from everyday athletes to tactical athletes to couch surfers. Our roots are in fighting fires, but the future is a long game of changing the nature of fitness for all.
The brand also recently launched FitFighter Live, which comes fully equipped with on-demand and live workouts. Apgar, who admits learning new exercises from users almost daily, is continually expanding the FitFighter movement library with the partnership of celebrity trainer Jason Walsh.
"[Jason] has been a mentor to me in the industry. Says Apgar. “So when a person like Jason calls you and says, 'I think you've got something really interesting.' Having the validation of such an important influencer in the industry makes you feel like you've climbed to the top of the pyramid. "
While growth within the fitness community remains his primary focus, staying involved in the military remains a priority for Apgar. A portion of the sales go to the Steven Stiller Foundation, which aims to help injured veterans readjust to life at home.
And since the military has recently revamped its fitness test, Apgar would love to see FitFighter applied to the military. The Army recently changed its fitness test, eliminating the traditional pushups, situps, and 2-mile running test and replacing it with specific warrior and combat drills to improve battlefield readiness. Apgar hopes that one day he can find a way for FitFighter to help our military stay prepared.
“I would love to have the opportunity to have a voice when it comes to offering strength training solutions for military and military,” says Apgar. “I think we should issue each new base trainee a Steelhose for strength training, and put a hose in each deployment mobility bag. This is a unique tool that has a direct impact on mission preparation. "
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Want to know the secrets to getting a fit-as-hell body in record time ? We did too, so we went straight to research, personal trainers, exercise physiologists, and sport instructors to round up the best workout tips to kick a fitness routine into high gear. Put a few of these moves, motivation, and mantras into marche each week and you’re guaranteed to see faster results !
save your life-really ! Regularly doing cardio and strength training reduces your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and endometrial, colon, and breast cancers. The American Heart Association recommends exercising for 30-60 minutes on most days to reduce your risk of heart disease. ( Whoa. This push-up test might be able to predict whether you’ll have heart disease later in life. )
You’ll feel less stressed and happier. Exercise has been proven to improve your mood and decrease anxiety. Studies show that the fitter you are, the better you’ll be at handling the long-term effects of stress. One moderately intense 50-minute aerobic workout has been shown to significantly lower anxiety levels. And a study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that exercise may be more effective than drugs in treating mild to moderate depression.
It strengthens your bones. Exercise increases bone density, helping prevent osteoporosis. High-intensity activity, like jumping and running, is most beneficial for preserving bone mass.
Always warm up and cool down. This exercise tip will help you maintain your mobility and flexibility and prevent injury. Take 5-10 minutes to gradually raise your heart rate at the beginning of a workout and lower it afterward. Before strength training, do low-intensity cardio that recruits larger force groups like your legs, back, and core. Try this quick warm-up before every exercise sesh.
Take this jump-rope challenge. ' The best cardio workout is the jump-rope double-turn maneuver, ' says Michael Olajide Jr., former number one world middleweight contender and cofounder/trainer at AEROSPACE High Performance Center in New York City. ' It’s soutenu : You’ll burn about 26 kcal per minute ! Do a basic jump for 5 minutes, then jump twice as high and turn the rope twice as fast so it passes under your feet twice before you land. This takes timing, patience and power. But you’ll get in great shape just by sérieux at it. ' ( Once you’ve mastered that, up the ante with our 30-minute jump rope workout. )
Don’t cruise through cardio. Increase intensity by doing intervals : After a warm-up, alternate 1-2 minutes of activity at a rate of perceived exertion, or RPE, of 7 or 8 with 2-4 minutes of lower-intensity periods ( RPE of 3-4 ). Repeat 4-6 times. Use our handy guide to help determine your RPE during any workout.
Tone up on the treadmill. ' Save time at the gym with this 10-minute cardio/sculpt séance : Hop on a treadmill holding a three- to five-pound dumbbell in each hand, and set the speed to a brisk walk. Do a 60-second set each of shoulder presses, triceps curls, triceps extensions, side laterals, front laterals and standing triceps kickbacks one after another as you walk. It’s an amazing upper-body challenge that also gets your heart pumping. Do this series two or three times each week. As you improve, work up to doing 4-minute sets, ' says Michael George, se progager and author of Body Express Makeover.
Make over your course routine. ' Unless you’re training for a marathon, skip long, slow, distance running-sprinting builds more muscle. Add a few 10- to 60-second sprints to your run, slowing down just long enough to catch your breath between them, ' says Stephen Holt, ACE personal se reproduire. ( See : How to Use Running for Weight Loss )
Use the talk test. If you can’t speak a sentence or two with each breath, you’re pushing too hard ( unless you’re purposely doing high-intensity interval ).
Get a jump on weight loss. ' Add plyometric box jumps to your workout to improve your cardiovascular stamina and leg strength - you’ll really sculpt your hamstrings, quads and glutes. Find a sturdy box that’s at least one foot high [like a j/fit Plyometric Jump Box, $71; amazon. com]. Starting from a standing position, explosively jump to the middle of the box, then jump back down. Repeat 20 times, ' says George. ( Related : Plyo Box Workout for Your Upper and Lower Body )
Watch the clock to lose weight. In a Journal of the American Medical Association study, women who racked up at least 200 cardio minutes a week for 18 months lost nearly 14 percent of their total body weight. Those who accumulated fewer than 150 minutes reduced their weight by less than 5 percent.
Power up your runs. ' Adding wall sits to the end of every run will strengthen your quads, hamstrings, and glutes, improving your speed and endurance. Lean against a wall with your feet shoulder-width apart, then squat until your knees are bent at quarante cinq degrees. Hold for 30-60 seconds; work up to doing 10 sets. Add a challenge by including heel raises : Lift your left heel, then the right, then lift both together twice, ' says Mindy Solkin, owner and head expert of The Running Center in New York City.
Lift like you mean it. If you can do the maximum number of suggested reps ( usually 10-12 ) without feeling fatigued, add pounds ( 10-15 percent at a time ). If you can’t complete the minimum number of suggested reps ( usually 8 ), reduce the weight in 10 percent increments until you can. Your last 1 or 2 reps should always feel tough, but doable.
Try this all-in-one toner. ' A side-step squat with wood chop works your arms, torso, abs, back, legs, inner thighs and butt, ' says David Kirsch, se progager and author of The Ultimate New York Body Plan. ' Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart holding a three- to four-pound medicine ball in your hands. Bend your arms up so that the ball is at eye level over your right shoulder. As you bring the ball toward your left knee, step out with your left leg and bend it no further than degrees, keeping your right leg straight. Return to the starting place. Do 10 to 15 reps and repeat on the other leg. '