Return To Core – Interview with Derek Neighbors CTO on the return of www.bodybuilding.com  

Thank you for joining us to be interviewed today on Clubhouse (CH) Derek. How did you become interested in BodyBuilding.com?

I work as a management consultant, and have an understanding of peak performance and the neurobiology of what makes a good performer. I saw the elements needed for peak performance in work were the same as for peak performance in fitness; but the elements of fitness are within your control – so they are a perfect playground to build skill sets for success in life. I was 5’8’’ tall and very overweight while working in Tech. It got to the point I had to change to have longevity in my life, I lost over 60 pounds by joining a CrossFit box that rekindled my love of the barbell, lifting weights, and my competitive side; I’m super competitive and don’t like to lose in life! CrossFit was motivating, but rough on my shoulders, so I switched to powerlifting, but then I started to put weight back on. We have beautiful mountains in Arizona, and some of the best ultra-runners in the world, so I found a tribe of trail runners, and started running long distance, exploring and enjoying the beauty of Arizona, but that affected my strength. For the last three years, I’ve switched between running and lifting exploring the science of fitness. 

I heard my investor friends had acquired bodybuilding.com. They approached me to do technical assessments for them, and they noticed I was in love with the stuff the company did and asked me to talk to the CEO about what was really possible. We hit it off; he had not had a technical partner since starting who had had a vision to serve the customer. It was clear we thought about fitness in the same way, how the dynamics of fitness propel everything in your life the same direction. He asked if I would come join as their CTO to build the next generation of products for their customers. It was the easiest answer of my life. I’m blessed to be able to work and do the things that I love. It was the perfect merger of my life’s purpose and passion, coming together with an opportunity. 

I love that your values in life and your work are so well aligned. People that have the greatest success tend to align the things they love with the things they do. 

I am surrounded by people who live and breathe a barbell each day, and having in-depth conversations at work about technique and performance is awesome. It’s the first place I’ve worked where the people at the company are the customers. You’re not trying to convince people how to do the right thing by the customers – because they all are the customers! We all enjoy working here.

I used bb.com when I first started training people 10 years ago, it was a go-to website for solid neutral information, the functions of the site were good at helping people improve their knowledge. This changed and I stopped visiting. I assume you saw changes too, is that something that they were keen to alter?

It’s funny that you say that, When I came to bb.com there was one thing that was super unique. I talked to about 100 trainers, promoters, athletes, and coaches etc. universally everybody told me, ‘I love bodybuilding.com – I would go there all the time’. Or find it was the reason they were motivated to get into the industry. When asked if they still used the site it was always a ‘no’ but they always said they still loved the brand and wished it would go back to how it was before. These people were the community, but they are now fragmented. There’s no place to have quality conversations and see people pushing the edge while also being validated as offering independent and neutral help. This was interesting to me, it’s rare to see a brand rise in prominence, but rarer to see a brand rise, then fall out of love from its customers, but still be admired, rooting and cheering for them to come back. This was why I felt it was great to be involved. We’ve got 100 million fans waiting for us to return, I want to be part of the homecoming. The previous acquisition was a corporation that thought of the world as just an e-commerce place to sell supplements. For six years, their moves indicated that, and the customer base left; it didn’t represent who they were as athletes any more. The new acquirer believes in community, fitness, and wants to reach back and be authentic. When I look at the product line-up, the mission for this year is called ‘Return to core’. Back to bodybuilders, Powerlifters, Gym rats, Olympic lifters, CrossFit athletes, and Strongman.

How are you going to go back to that core?

By being unapologetic. One thing I see in the strength and fitness industry currently is that people like mediocrity, because it makes them feel good. When a bodybuilder goes on stage, it’s easier to say ‘Oh he’s too big’ than that he worked hard – easier to be derogatory and judge a strength or performance athlete, than to appreciate them. In modern culture, we have normalised obesity and mediocrity: apathy actively fights against those trying to push their body to a peak performance.

By returning to the core, we want to normalise fitness, to say it’s ok to be a female bodybuilder with big arms, a strong woman, or someone who works really hard to show off their body. Don’t apologise for looking good or being strong. The second part is reinvigorating the community showing we’re all in it together, as athletes and performers we should help each other.  I was drawn to the rooms you have done on CH as you both talk at a technical level; it doesn’t matter who comes in to say ‘Hi I’m an Olympic lifter, and I’m struggling with XYZ, can you help?’ You’re real and treat them as humans. The reality is, we all came from somewhere and somebody helped us along our path. A community helps each other pull through, to get to the next step. As technology and science rapidly evolves, we need to communicate to see what’s working for you, how you are doing it, and what we can learn. The current fitness culture has trainers, who I don’t say it’s all about them but about them trying to earn a living, so they go to whatever click helps them sell. But in true performance athletes, there’s no such thing; if they can deadlift 1000 pounds and you can’t, I will listen to the person who did it. If I want to be on stage, I’m going to the top bodybuilders rather than a trainer that’s not actually doing it. Part of peak performance means you’re experimenting with your body. If we didn’t have bodybuilders and strength athletes, we would get nowhere because many injured their bodies learning what worked and what didn’t, and then the science caught up. So if you’re going to be on the edge pushing boundaries you have a place to talk to other people doing the same.

Absolutely seeing that culture return would be great. On CH we have groups of people sharing knowledge, we know there are no secrets but often people are not willing to share because of perceived scarcity. How do you intend to draw it out on bodybuilding.com? 

With most social platforms it’s too noisy. Nobody wants to go on Facebook now because you have to deal with politics, your aunt Matilda, and stuff that you don’t care about, to find the gold; it will happen on CH too. As more people arrive on the platform with diverse interest groups, you’ll have to fight through the noise. Bodybuilding.com is different because it’s a fitness-only platform to talk fitness, where the professionals and people looking for qualified advice live – so it puts a very specific purpose to a social group. 

On CH if I enter a room to find out how to lose weight and get stronger, the first thing that any trainer will ask is, what do you eat? What are your current macros etc? Bodybuilding.com is not just a social platform, we have workout routines, goal setting, and tracking to back up the queries. Imagine you’re talking to a lifter who has been snatching XYZ and Is stuck. Your first question may be ‘What’s your current training plan?’  You can then send a link for a new one along with videos and articles from the app to start solving problems right there. We aim to connect with conversations and add great content, supplementation or programming, in a shareable experience.  

We also aim to provide visibility and inspiration of what others are doing. Facebook, and Instagram, show the result of the hard work, but don’t show the work taken to do it. It’s a crime because people have false expectations of what it takes to get it. If you post your best snatch, it doesn’t show the hours you’re putting in over the last 10 years! People have to be able to see a roadmap too. There are people who have tracked over 1000 workouts and lifted over 21 million pounds on the site and they ask if they have done the most – they are not even close, but they have done a hell of a lot right! Imagine a world where people can see the work? When I see an Adonis, or Greek goddess, I can see the tonnage, and their achievements, and see what it takes to do it. That then becomes a reality-based conversation rather than a fantasy one.

You have a community feed on the site already? Will it be used to try and improve the community transparency and visibility of what people are doing to achieve their goals?

Ourbodies Facebook platform was released in 2012 and the forum was probably circa 2005. But in the last five years neither have changed much, they form the base of our q&a and knowledge transfer areas. Both are being revamped and merged into a single product back on the bodybuilding platform. 

Are there currently many people using this programming? 

Ourbodies Facebook has over 100,000 users, who are either modifying existing programs or building their own. They are advanced users, picking generic workouts, merging and building on top of them. Our Bodyfit programme is a subscription-based programme with 120,000 members following generic plans. We are merging Bodyfit and Bodyspace into a single base on a mobile platform, along with messaging and audio functionality similar to clubhouse, then Bodyspace people can create interest groups and share information too. 

Interesting. So, you’re also going to have the ability to create groups like this, where they can communicate about plans or programmes they’re following.

Correct, something we used to do, when we were the Mecca for people, was to help launch their careers, build programmes, and supplementation lines. We want to bring that back, as things have fragmented, right now if you’re a trainer, a gym owner, or brand owner, you have to hodgepodge a bunch of stuff together that doesn’t really work well together, for example you may use Trainerize to program for clients, track food on My Fitness Pal, sell some merchandise on Shopify etc. We have an integrated platform doing these things already built to use internally. We want to extend that ecosystem to our most advanced users, to build their own programmes for the people they coach and to integrate commerce directly to their target market and, in addition, to creating groups to have communities. All this integrated in a fitness specific platform. For example you guys could have a British weightlifting group for fans on the platform, send workout plans to people in that group; if you wanted to write articles you could have more client visibility and be able to share more than just your social experience. You can also share your fitness journey with people interested in just fitness on the platform. It becomes more of a community which is tough for trainers to grow on the other socials amongst all the noise. 

Some of the platforms emerging for coached programming are fantastic. I recently transitioned, and bringing additional community elements sounds great.

BB.com has been around for 20 years, we’re the equivalent of a ‘Muscle and Fitness’ magazine. We were almost a publishing group for the better part of two decades. Imagine that entire library being available to send to your clients! All backed by the best physical scientists, ready for clients along with video and audio content too. We will bring that ecosystem together, giving you the paint and the canvas – go paint the picture you want for the community that you speak to, and help evolve everybody. To us, success is how we get people to get results, our motto is:

GOAL: get people to set realistic goals and push themselves, 

PLAN: is help figure out a plan, whatever it looks like, to achieve those goals, 

TRACK: help them track and be accountable to the goals they set for themselves,

MOTIVATE: inspire the hell out of them to continue and pull other people into a journey with them!

You also track nutrition as well pairing with a My Fitness Pal app. Are you bringing in registered dieticians for this? 

We have talked about it but our mission is 1: Return to core, 2: Rebuild the experience, 3: Build the platform, and 4: Unlock the media. 

We will bring in brands and specialists in the second phase. Millions of people worldwide are coming to the site asking for help, so sign up as a trainer, prove your qualifications and we can put you in front of them. You then could be the lead generation into people that aren’t on our platform. To me, it’s about how we get people to get results? Our only goal is to get people off the couch and into a fitness journey; we all win when that happens.

Regarding dieticians it’s still too complex, or not digestible enough. We have talked to meal-prep companies who align to the goals of a programme, smaller companies with dieticians, and to trainers on staff that use data input to generate and track macros. Thus it can link back to a coach to review after performance and adjust accordingly. This path is super easy to add data into, we advise macros and get meals and food plans to match. Yeah, nice, sounds like avatar nutrition! 

You deliver programming, how is it currently created? Is it updated by coaches or are you looking towards more machine learning? AI-style programming? 

Historically, content has come through one of one of three mechanisms. 

1. We identify good athletes and coaches with results, ask what they are doing, and work with them to refine their programme for a larger audience e.g Steve Cook and Lane Norton. 

2. We work with brand partners: with athletes on their books needing to raise their visibility and to sell more products. We create programmes to help them. We’ll label those from a brand perspective, e.g Kris Gethin, who have a brand they’re behind. We then reinforce their brand by putting out workout plans and regimens for supplementation or nutrition programmes. 

3. Our publishing group looks at where we are underserved, or have people looking for a type of programming, and works with trainers to build that programming e.g when COVID hit, people wanted home workouts -so we created them. Historically it isn’t something we did, but if the market needs it, we can do it.

From an AI side, we’re not building any programs, but we monitor which programmes are effective by looking at data, what programmes people gravitating towards and why. Is it the way the athlete looks? Because it’s three days training a week, not five? Because they think it’s going to make them skinny? Or strong? We also check which plans get completed, and those with great results.

We must understand which plans are effective. A plan may be really good but if it’s 90 minutes in the gym 6x per week, not many newbies will commit because it’s too hard. Machine learning and AI come in to help program selection more than program creation right now. 

 With the current users, what metrics are you currently tracking on their plans? 

We track everything they enter into the system. When they start a plan, complete a workout, the weights and reps of every exercise, and when a plan completes. We calculate workout volume. It’s impressive seeing the total volume you lifted. I recently started a hybrid power hypertrophy plan from Layne Norton. I’m dying! I can’t walk some days. The volume is high on Sundays, but it doesn’t feel like it! It’s crazy to see I lift that much weight in just 45 minutes. It’s these little metrics that are key, as a user it started to show me why this is more effective. Before, I may have spent two hours in the gym with less volume. Maybe Lane Norton knows something about lifting!

Do most people plug in their data? Is that becoming a key critical factor in continuing with the programme – is that a turning point for some people?

Sure, the turning point for most people is honestly consistency, so yes. The people that aren’t consistent tend to fall off. My hypothesis, and we’re still playing with the data, is people are terrible at setting goals especially with things that actually help them to a goal. Most people on the site want to lose weight and gain strength simultaneously. A diametrically opposed goal when it comes to results if you look at a bodybuilder – there’s a reason they follow a bulk or cut season, because you don’t do both together. Yet everybody wants to, so they pick a volume strength programme that will make them hungry, but can’t understand why they can only eat 900 calories a day.

So, the pick a program phase on bb.com needs to improve? 

Yes, it’s about expectation setting. If I want to lose 60 pounds, I’ll need a barbell to do that, as it will help my metabolism, but I probably don’t want to be a powerlifter while I’m doing it, so fine tune it. That doesn’t mean you can’t lose weight and gain some strength at the same time; it just won’t be as fast as if you just focused on one aspect? So, it’s educating people smartly because nobody wants to hear those things. We try to do this in an inquisitive way and predict some results to show them a path, as opposed to making them read literature, to understand how both those things are not possible at the same time. 

You guys probably took 15 years of trial and error, being around people, listening and reading to get to where you are at. It’s foolish to think we can impart that to people overnight. So how do we teach people? Fad diet marketing and trickery doesn’t work. It hurts us, them, and the industry. So we try to make them think it’s their own idea to pick a plan. Then they’re happy because they get the results they want. It’s motivational interviewing on the internet. 

I can see a tonne of strength, powerlifting and bodybuilding stuff on the site currently, but not Olympic weightlifting programmes, is this because of the complicated movements /nuances of programming?

We don’t have anything really great in the Olympic weightlifting programmes. We’ve got some content in the forums, but the movements are complex and nuanced as you said. If somebody watches a video, and tries to replicate the progression it’s difficult. It ties to educating people again: how many snatches, cleans or power jerks can you do in a lifting session? Much less compared to what you’d see bodybuilders and powerlifters doing. It may not connect for people. They don’t understand they need to do light weights for a tonne of reps, to build technique and muscle memory first before building the load. I think that nuance gets lost in programming. 

Also, in the bodybuilding heyday, Olympic lifting was in a declining state, now CrossFit has brought a new wave of people who like the technical element and challenges the lifts bring. We absolutely should have Olympic lifting programmes in place with more nuanced exercise databases. One of the common things I see weightlifters do is to share videos to check form. You talk and do that in your rooms! Somebody asks for help, you look at their Instagram page, for their lifts, and just by looking you can help. Perhaps we could introduce the concept of a progress fix? 

We currently have the concept in goal setting of using weight measurements, body fat testing etc but instead we could have your PR’s, for the lifts, and add a video upload area for people to comment on – similar to a progress pic. Would that help move things forward?

Absolutely yes. Current platforms use these elements already, and are critical for remote athletes, along with exercise libraries and client metrics on volume intensity and wellness – but adding a community or team club element to this style of platform would be awesome. Having this alongside a larger fitness community to offer further cross pollination too would be great. I’d happily use that! 

You need the right spokespeople to draw in a weightlifting community. Good athletes with a mixture of body types to break down the current stereotypes. Giving the right perception and education to people looking to start a programme, on what it takes. 

There are whole audiences we’re not serving because we don’t have Olympic weightlifting or CrossFit-style workouts. We don’t have CrossFit programs because at the time we created programmes, an amrap for example, really didn’t exist in the mainstream. So, a lot of our programmes and tracking doesn’t have that content. 

I think that part of returning to our core is really nailing the bodybuilder, the powerlifter, and the gym-rat. Then we believe that the CrossFitter, Olympic lifter and Strongman all share the same competitive mental makeup and consider them part of our core. So how do we start to unlock content that is specific and speaks to them too? 

We can definitely help with that. Ensuring your programming and written content scales to all levels. What is the framework around selecting and producing articles that relate to the beginner, intermediate or professional? 

Our content team really needs to dive in. The articles are cross-checked and graded, with two levels of editors looking through different lenses at targeting. We’re one of the only fitness sites citing sources on our articles. The due diligence on the content we put out is on par with current magazines. In the forums it is largely somebody’s opinion. 

One change we’re making in community areas is to give authority to certain voices – if you write articles for us, we will note that in your profile; everybody in CH loves the little green moderator badge. I think that is how we start to identify the more educated people to verify their legitimacy. It doesn’t promise they are always correct, but that person has some education and experience behind them, or we received content from them that was well researched for example. This will give users more guidance.

It’s a tricky combination to find the right athletes that inspire the sport you’re trying to promote, and back it with people that have the coach/programming ability; you’ve got to do the due diligence. With athlete-led content, they have the results, but may not understand the process and specification that led them there. Likewise, coaches have the science and practice but possibly not the athletic prowess or follower appeal in the wider community. It has to be a combination of both. 

Absolutely. Our best brands are two separate people! Like a band with a separate songwriter. The face of our plans are not always the people who built the plan. They’re their coaches, extremely knowledgeable, pushing them to be a top performer. That doesn’t mean that they’re not capable in their own right. But usually the people with the biggest steps are people coaching top performance, not necessarily the top performers, that’s true in most sports – not to knock on the athlete, but an athlete’s working on themselves only. Somebody coaching multiple athletes is seeing things from multiple vantage points and is able to try things with multiple people. So it’s that difficulty of finding somebody whose personality resonates. We’ve had great coaches with fantastic content that look great, but you put them in front of a community and nobody wants to talk to them.

Hell yes, values have to match up! To be able to communicate for sure.

What business metrics are you tracking as you grow?

Metrics important for community building are different to metrics of information. 

In the beginning of bodybuilding.com, people didn’t care about the metrics, they were writing content for themselves and customers were vocal about what resonated and what didn’t. 

After acquisition, came the obsession with metrics, and big mistakes were made – like gating off the best content and monetizing it. They didn’t understand that exercise database was the value, getting people to learn how to exercise. If less people are exercising, because they don’t have access to the knowledge in front of them, then we lose out too. 

So be careful what, and how, you measure metrics. It may not work the way you think. The metrics that matter now are how our community connects to us and each other, and If they get good results with us. We do look at other metrics but they are less important, and the truth is people hire bodybuilding.com to get a result. If they get it, then they will attach to us, and bring their friends. So, we now monitor how we connect people to us and how to get them the best result? If they identify that bodybuilding.com helped, everything else will work out.

What is the most surprising group you see engagement from worldwide?

The Middle East is blown up! We are seeing explosive growth in emerging markets. They love bodybuilding. Americans have got to the point where they are diving into wellness more than fitness. Bodybuilding – it’s all about extremes. That’s why some people gravitate towards it.

Ronnie Coleman says it best: ‘Everybody wants to look like a bodybuilder, and nobody wants to lift no heavy-ass weights.’ But when you look at emerging markets, like India and The Middle East, they are hungry to improve. They want to be like America in the 80’s. Look at Mr.Olympia from Egypt for example. In emerging countries, many people struggle to have enough food to eat, so if you look powerful, big and strong, it’s often a sign of wealth. It shows a country is maturing, we can be as good as the West. Culturally, if you’re in that position, it’s a sign you’re moving up in the world rankings. They’re loving the sport but access to it is harder for them, so those are definitely markets we’re working with while coming back to our core.

I’m interested to hear how you’re going to get to push that message further. Is it going to be coming through the website, socials, PR stunts? What’s the plan of action to make that happen?

The marketing team will plan that, but I want to connect with humans; as we connect, the marketing team will start to hit it. From a social perspective we need to meet our customers where they’re at. The reason I’m here, talking and doing this, is to be aware of where our customers are and let them know changes are coming, and where you can find us in a world where there’s multiple modes! 

People tell their stories and connect, in mediums that make sense for them. I think bodybuilding.com in the future will be a home for people looking for fitness. There’s no illusion that people won’t still be on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook etc. But bodybuilding.com wants to meet people where they’re at and invite them on a journey. You’ll be hearing more as we continue to add value. The first big move will be releasing back all the gated content, to be free again to show we’re back; we listened, we messed up. 

So for weightlifting do demo videos exist? 

To some extent It’s all behind the paywall; we have a deep exercise database, giving a written technical breakdown, and videos showing you every step of the movement. It’s some of the best-in- class videos for how to do exercise movements, but currently the problem is it’s for paid members only.

I’d love to hook you both up with our content team to do an entire series around progressions and introductions, or a series of breakdowns, as I am sure we could be providing better resources. Just from being in your rooms, I hear you say the same things to people, they get stuck at the same points and there’s easy ways around that. Then you get to a point where you really need to see the movements before you can really help. So having some better content would be good.

In the Olympic lifting classes I’ve visited, a good instructor breaks down movements, from floor to the knee or knee to the hip etc, because with complex and compound movements like these it’s hard to show, or change, it all when completing the entire movement. I bet you could spend an hour coaching lifting from floor to knee, and still just be scratching the surface. It’s like a good golf swing: the pros break it down into so many more pieces than a normal person sees or understands. They just see the ball fly, not all the other steps learnt to get there.

Yes, putting the little steps into sequences are important – and for certain issues if this happens, try this, or that happens, try that. The nuance there can be tweaked and developed. More than happy to help out Derek.

At the bodybuilding level I did the front squat Olympic type style if not the snatches, but for the compound movements, the breakdown for bodybuilders is not great either. The form for me is so worrying. Having technique from you guys correcting bodybuilders poor form is needed, there’s so much crossover with bodybuilders wanting to be powerlifters we need that clarity. If you want to lift this way, with these loads, it’s important that you do it correctly.

Do you also combine weightlifting and bodybuilding programs? It’s a tricky game of how good you want to be at weightlifting vs bodybuilding but we do get asked. 

We actually have two fantastic two guys doing hybrid powerlifting and bodybuilding; they are Mike O’Hearn and Layne Norton. Mike calls it ‘powerbuilding’, and Layne calls it ‘power hypertrophy’ – they rely on squat, bench, and deadlift as a core, multiple times a week, in 5/3/1 format or ladder format. Accessory work is done at lower weight, higher volume, in isolated movements for body parts that are hard to grow when not targeted directly. Both are fantastic programmes; on the advanced side, you have to know the movements because they tend to be complex and about 12 weeks in nature. It would be good to have an introductory program that starts with 4 weeks of powerlifting, then 4 weeks of bodybuilding, then puts you on an intermediate path onwards blending it together. Often people just don’t know what they will, or won’t, like – so try both.

Weightlifters are wanting to be aesthetic too, Chinese weightlifters on social media have drawn attention to a focus on bodybuilding work that weight lifters want too. 

Yep,nutrition is the key to aesthetics. You have to clean up what you’re eating. It’s not just lowering calories, it’s changing your macronutrient ratios, to be much more protein based. Even getting into carb cycling or something similar. The big shift is to eat for fuel instead of enjoyment. When you understand the relationship between those things, you eat based on how you will train tomorrow, to be more effective than just following a calorie or a macro-plan.

Is it possible to commercialise having form checks done through computer visions, something the Chinese Olympic team weightlifting team uses, is that something you are working on? What kind form or technique analysis are you looking at? 

There are companies looking at various elements to this right. From weight collars with sensors in them, to analyze the bar speed and bar path, count reps or measure depth, I’ve seen a number of analytics around this that we’re interested in and researching right now. Others take every joint position, on a video scanning you, to determine roughly where your joints are, and then draws a little stick man of you based on their positions. So ,when you move, the stick man does too. The ratios that apply to common movements can then be measured, e.g your waist is not parallel with your knees in a squat, so you’re not going to depth in a squat or it shows a hip shift.

The technology is there but we’re not remotely close to replacing a human coach to maximise this. It is useful but the people building the tech tend to overvalue it and the price point is high. They also only solve a fractional piece of the pie: we need to combine all the metrics into a single product. To tell how fast the bar is travelling, alongside if it was done with balanced technique. It’s not about perfection, it’s seeing compensation. This is still further away than everybody thinks and although the technology is cool, it is sterile – most people want to talk to a human; if a computer told them they did, or didn’t, do a good job then they will still have a lot of questions the computer can’t answer. 

 How are you finding CH? Is it a medium that you enjoy? 

Awesome question. I was on CH really early on with my investor friends; it was fantastic, super intellectual and very forward thinking. I got a little too hooked, spending too much time on it, so I backed off. When I returned I was still fascinated with it. It’s losing some of its Mystique as more people pile in. As it grows, there will be growing pains, but there’s something unique about it when it comes to fitness: the hardest thing to replicate community-wise is being in a gym with others chatting. You can’t do it via text, because you can’t text and workout.

There are groups on here that workout together. Many are running or walking groups. It is fascinating that I can join a group and get on stage with others while I’m working out and chatter away, getting our workout done. It feels authentic to how I work out with a gym-buddy. I want to bring an audio group platform to our site for this reason; it’s the only medium that works whilst being active – it can be a passive thing rather than focusing all your attention on the app, so that part of CH fascinates me.

It is fun, I like the smaller rooms as connections seem more real. How about you?

Some celebrities I just want to hear, Elon Musk or Tony Hawk for example, I join because I’m fascinated as to what they will say. But I’m not connecting to them, as opposed to a room of four people on stage. Those are the best conversations, where there is less pomp and circumstance, or selling – it’s more real. I find that in fitness rooms, with 200+ people, it obviously became repetitive with people trying to sell their training. It’s a turnoff. I found your room, with a group of coaches from Westside Barbell club, that you’re having great conversations, and people are going deep and don’t care about audience size, you’re just talking about what you love – it’s these rooms that do fantastic.

Many thanks for taking time out with us today Derek we look forward to speaking more soon.

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