bodyART® is a functional movement training system designed by Robert Steinbacher that balances your strength, flexibility and mental concentration. bodyART® Level 1 Original, based on the principles of Yin and Yang and the Five Elements of Chinese Philosophy, is a functional, total body workout that combines strength, flexibility, cardio, and breathing. Classes consist of exercises unique to bodyART® as well movement inspired by martial arts, yoga, physical therapy, and classical conditioning.
The result is a familiar and transformative experience for participants of all ages and fitness levels. Awarded as ‘Best International Concept’ by ECA OBOW awards in New York City, bodyART® is being hailed as the most progressive and effective fitness modality in the world.
We talk to Ryan Daniel Beck, the director about Traditional Chinese Medicine and how are you using the bodyART® platform is educating and encouraging us.
Hey Ryan, can you introduce yourself to us?
I am the director of bodyART Training Studios in NYC. I was a professional dancer for 20 years, working with Beyonce, MOMIX, MTV, Black Eye Peas and am on faculty at Broadway Dance Center. My areas of studies include anatomy, biomechanics, myofascial release, and traditional Chinese medicine.
Can you take us through your journey to where you are now?
Having worked for many years in the Film/TV and live entertainment industry, I was keenly aware of the need for therapeutic bodywork to balance high-intensity lifestyles and training. I was introduced to bodyART through its creator Robert Steinbacher and then proceeded to bring the method to NYC over the past eight years.
Can you talk us through the set process of your business and how you got started?
As a business model, we initially launched as a B To B model, whereby our primary revenue was generated through training and certifications, which allowed us to create teams of freelance instructors. However, with the shift in boutique fitness, major metro markets are far more consumer-facing than they were ten years ago, and our current strategy reflects that trend.
How much research did you do on the market prior to getting started what were your findings?
The data within the wellness sector is fairly established and easily accessed. In the H.A.L.O. (health, active lifestyle, outdoor) space, the key market index would be technical innovation and various approaches to customer service and outreach (i.e. bringing the hardware home as with Peloton, all-inclusive offerings like FitHouse, or app-based services like Forte Fit/Jet Sweat)
How is your business funded, is it bootstrapped, self-funded ect?
Can you tell us more about the brand DNA and ethos of your business?
We are in an auxiliary role to the fitness industry, rather than in competition to it. We like to describe ourselves as the “pit crew” which keeps cross-fitters, cyclists, dancers, martial artists, runners, etc on the race track, avoiding injury and preventing pain. Our ethos is based on a fundamental understanding of traditional Chinese medicine, which seeks to foster a balance between dynamic and passive, energetic and therapeutic, active and gentle, yin and yang. We encourage a non-judgmental, non-competitive training atmosphere which focuses on quality rather quantity.
Where can you see yourself within the next 3-5 years?
We will ideally expand our B&M presence in NYC, LA, and Miami. We will also be rolling out some exciting tech integration, seamlessly hidden into the client experience.
Can you give us highlight 3 common misconceptions about Traditional Chinese Medicine and how are you using your platform to educate us?
- TCM as only pertaining to herbal or acupuncture therapies.
- TCM often refers to masculine (YANG) and feminine (YIN) energies, which is a concept that is separate from gender. In fact, the human body is always a fusion or blend of both.
- TCM has social, political, psychological, philosophical implications that extend beyond physical training, touching on topics such as an imbalance of power, cultural appropriation, corporate greed, hyper-capitalism, toxic masculinity, #metoo, feminism, and a host of other social discussions that result from a lack of balance.
Who does the team involve behind you?
We have the core, consumer-facing team, as well as our backend admin, legal, accounting, PR and social media consultants.
Where can you see yourself within the next 3-5 years?
Hopefully, we can expand to the point where we can actively and aggressively promote and support our favourite charities, such as The Breasties, AHA, Girl Trek, and Pronoun Project
What are the key tools that you use for your trade?
Our primary channels at the moment are social media based.
What outlets do use to market bodyART Training Studios LLC?
Web presence, Instagram, Paid Ads, Facebook.
What or who inspires and motives you?
Liz Plank, Danny Meyer, Seth Godin.
What is the number 1 critical business lesson you have learned so far?
In terms hierarchy, your employees need to be your primary focus. If the employees are happy, they will provide exceptional customer service to the guests. If the guests are happy, the retention rate is high and the investors are happy.
A seminal point in your career so far?
The moment Madonna claimed bodyART as her workout of choice.
What gives you ultimate career satisfaction?
Improving the lives of our guests by guiding them towards balance, allowing them to continue to do the activities they love to do, for as long as they want to do them, free of injury and pain.
What challenges have you seen to have been presented during the growth of your business?
Re-programming pervasive messages in the mainstream that physical training is only effective when it is abusive. Guests have to re-frame their definition of a “workout” since our goal is a function, rather than accelerating the ageing process, which is the result of “punishmentality” (i.e. no pain no gain)
Which other leading entrepreneurs and pioneering game changers do you also admire and why?
Anyone who open to genuine dialogue and discourse, possesses a curiosity across multiple disciplines, and has the ability to resist dogma and toxic ego, has my deep admiration.
What is a good article or book you have read recently?
‘Customers Included’ by Mark Hurst, of Creative Good.
How do you define your own success?
Success is ultimate mobility, whether it is physical, mental, financial, or emotional. Being in a state where everything flows with ease, unforced balance, and without inhibition.
What does #BEYOUROWNMAN mean to you?
When you are able to embrace all the aspects that combine and express themselves through you. Every human is a singularly unique amalgam of stories, flaws, dramas, traumas, joy, insecurities, and potential. Learning and accepting the cards you have been dealt with is foundational.
Finally, what are you working on throughout 2019?
- Collaborations with PopSugar, NYU, Phluid, The Assemblage, Google, Carbon 38
- Retreats in Bali, Costa Rica, Ibiza, Switzerland.
- Our first round of funding.