Listen to Ted Richards in conversation with Sam Wood, Fitness Entrepreneur and founder of 28 by Sam Wood, Australia’s number 1 home fitness and nutrition program.
Click here to listen to the episode through iTunes.
Sam Wood is well known around Australia for his appearance on Season 3 of The Bachelor, but there is so much more to Sam’s story. Since leaving high school he has made quite a few pivotal, calculated risks that have all played a part in where Sam finds himself today.
Like many students, Sam wasn’t sure of the direction he wanted to follow after Year 12. He was accepted to study law, but after a coaching stint in the US for a basketball camp in Chicago he knew that his real passion lay in fitness, health and helping people.
He moved from Tasmania to Victoria and transferred into an Exercise Science degree. On the side he offered personal training and, while he achieved initial success in this, he quickly identified bigger opportunities.
Sam’s first business pivot was moving from his successful regular adult clients into kids fitness in 2003. He says that at the time it was still an “out-there” concept. He launched his first Gecko Fitness to immediate success and looked at how to grow the business.
He tried a licensing model and, as a result of different challenges and feedback, moved into a franchising model. At one stage he had 45 franchisees and said that he learned a lot of valuable lessons through this whole period of growth.
But it was in 2015 that Sam’s story became really interesting when he appeared on The Bachelor.
It required Sam to take another risk – to pack his life up in Melbourne and move to Sydney. In doing so he would have to step back from his business ventures with his gym (The Woodshed) and Gecko Fitness.
It was a big risk at the time but now says that it’s the best thing he’s ever done. Famously he met his wife on the show and they now have three children together.
28 by Sam Wood
Professionally, Sam could see other people using technology in the fitness industry in different ways, and thought combining his experience with technology could open personal fitness training to more people.
He put all his money on the line and, on February 1, 2016, 28 by Sam Wood was launched.
It was another calculated risk that he was willing to take.
Within six weeks, 5000 subscribers were paying $49 per month. It didn’t take long for Sam to realise that it was resonating.
Fast forward a few years to the time when COVID-19 struck. Subscribers doubled in a very short period of time. Over the course of 2020, 28 by Sam Wood has grown so much it’s about to hit 30,000 paid subscribers.
We discuss the normalisation of working out from home and what is going on around the world with Google’s acquisition of Fitbit, Lululemon’s acquisition of Mirror, the launch of Apple Fitness+ and the continued rise of Peloton.
Throughout the podcast we also discuss similarities between 28 and Six Park. That is, using the best of technology to make a service accessible that previously only a small portion of the population could afford.
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Topics discussed are general in nature and for informational purposes only. This information and the information discussed in the podcast does not qualify as personal financial advice.