Although it’s easy to lump various competitive physical activities under the sports umbrella, the muscles emphasized in each discipline can vary. For example, while Olympic figure skaters need to build abdominal muscle, snowboarders depend on their arms and shoulders to soar down the slopes. Precise training can help athletes cultivate their bodies and enhance their performance.

Designed for professional athletes and everyday gym enthusiasts alike, The Axle Workout uses a patent-pending Olympic barbell and a live and on-demand training app to help users meet their physical goals. Its second-generation smart barbell will monitor how much muscle and fat an athlete has in specific areas, allowing them to improve their workout routine. We reached out to co-founder Andrew Page to learn more about his family’s generational dedication to health and the future of the industry.

Note: This interview was conducted over phone and email. It has been lightly edited for clarity and length.

Funding Round Details

The Axle Workout logo
Company: The Axle Workout
Security Type: SAFE
Valuation: $11,000,000
Min Investment: $100
Platform: Republic
Deadline: Apr 30, 2022
View Deal

In your own words, how would you describe The Axle Workout?

We are a company that is focused on helping people understand the importance of strength training and how it can help you live longer. Our core business gives anyone access to affordable strength training and a live coach in their pocket. 

The Axle Workout is a virtual boutique fitness studio coaching concept, built around a proprietary barbell, The Axle, that combines the functionality of an Olympic barbell, a suspension trainer, and an ab wheel. We offer virtual coaching sessions where you can work with a live coach to build a body you love. We also have a library of on-demand programming. 

The importance of understanding body composition as it relates to your long-term health cannot be understated, which is why we are developing a second generation of our existing product that will produce a body composition scan and provide metrics for the customer. Body composition is the number one key biometric for understanding long-term health, but it’s not currently available at a price point that’s accessible to most people. 

Our smart barbell will:

  • Evaluate user body composition in 60 seconds
  • Show users how much muscle they have in their limbs and torso
  • Show users how much fat they have limb in their limbs and torso
  • Train their bodies with customized exercises that allows them to change desired muscle/fat distribution
  • Track their body’s composition changes over time

What inspired you to take the leap and start this company?

I have been a licensed sports performance coach since I was 19. I have trained NBA players and Olympic athletes for 14 years as a professional. I love to exercise, and more importantly, I love to help people create major changes in their bodies, whether they’re a pro athlete returning to the court off an injury or a regular person looking to make a transformation.

I knew there needed to be improved access to strength training, which is the kind of exercise that produces the most efficient change in body composition. And so we made a tool that could do thousands of exercises, that could go anywhere, and will soon be able to evaluate how much progress you’re making with your training.

Who is on your team and how did you come together?

We are a team of senior health and wellness specialists. I grew up surrounded by health and medicine, being the grandson of two doctors, the son of two doctors, and the brother of two doctors.

My co-founder, Anuj Patel, is an MBA from Duke who has 12 years’ experience specializing in healthcare. He was a director at PatienstLikeMe and a former digital health venture lead at IMS. 

Our chief medical advisor, Dr. Stephanie Page, is a doctor specializing in diabetes and obesity medicine. I happen to also be married to her.

We also have an experienced technology team, including Gary Shambat, a Stanford PhD that has been a product manager at Google, Apple, and Lyft.

How is The Axle Workout transforming the virtual fitness industry?

We are a few short years away from a distinct crossing between medicine and lifestyle (in which I would include exercise) where important biometrics are tracked. People and businesses alike will have a collective goal and will be incentivized appropriately to improve these biometrics, of which one of the most important is body composition. 

Right now in the fitness world, we are training in the dark and not monitoring closely enough the changes that are happening inside the body. And these changes can be easily tracked through existing technologies. 

The reason that these technologies have not become more popular is that they lack an inherent stickiness. Meaning you can go and get a body composition assessment done right now in 60 seconds. But then what do you do? Work out? Eat better? 

We will soon be in an industry where you receive an assessment and are launched into a program that helps you immediately improve and track the changes you’re making to your body.

What does the competitive landscape look like, and how do you differentiate?

Axle is connected fitness for the 99%. Where other more expensive connected fitness devices occupy designated floor space, The Axle is a portable gym that goes where you go and offers a connected, live coaching experience for less than $100 per month. 

How do you intend to use the money you raise this round to scale the business?

We need capital to support our growth with:

  1. Inventory 
  2. Marketing 
  3. Product development

What do you want potential investors to know about you and/or your company?

I want investors to know that we are a team of true experts in the field. 

I want investors to know our story, that we have been resilient in five years of business. You can take Axle group fitness classes at Crunch, UFC Gyms, and more than 300 different training facilities worldwide. You can purchase our full product assortments on Amazon, Walmart, Target, and most major retailers. You can train with one of our 350 certified instructors live from our mobile app wherever you are in the world.

I want investors to know that our core product fits the market. The company has earned more than $1.5 million in revenue since coming to market in 2017.

And I want investors to know that the future of fitness and healthcare is in data that can be easily assessed and addressed in a non-invasive, efficient, and affordable manner.

As you think about the business 5-10 years down the road, what do you see exit opportunities looking like? Have you set any future goals for the company?

I see both short-term and long-term exit opportunities. 

I would say, most conservatively, our core business selling virtual studio subscriptions and hardware appeals to an Amazon rollup company looking for a multi-vertical brand. Our acquisition costs go down over time through better brand recognition and increased adoption of hardware first via Amazon and distribution channels.

For our second-generation smart barbell, we will have a unique upsell to our existing user base, which increases customer long-term value from 12 months to 24 months over a five-year period. Lululemon’s recent acquisition of Mirror comes to mind as an example of a similar exit.

But our second-generation barbell will also produce valuable biometric data at the enterprise level. We will become an important data-producing company with a virtual coaching service that offers tremendous value to healthcare and technology companies alike.

We look forward to seeing where Andrew and his team take the company. The Axle Workout is currently raising on Republic.