In the News: Bloomberg Interview with Jeff Hyman and Reggie Smith
Dominic Chu from Bloomberg Television's "Bottom Line" interviews Retrofit CEO Jeff Hyman along with VP of Business Development and former NFL player Reggie Smith. Retrofit has partnered with the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) to offer its innovative expert-led weight loss program to former NFL players. Reggie explains how he and several of his former colleagues have lost weight with Retrofit, and why he can't stop talking about the program.
Matt: If you are one of the countless Americans planning to get fit in 2013, well, you're not alone. Even the NFL Players Association is getting in on the fitness action. Bloomberg's Dominic Chu is looking at one way former pros are trimming the fat. Dom?
Dominic: Well, it's always a common goal, Matt, now that we head into the new year. It's all about weight loss, getting to the gym, those New Year's resolutions, even for those who were once professional athletes, overall. But, if you look at one company, Retrofit, it's helping former NFL players by using a high-tech, data driven approach with a support team to help shred those pounds. We caught up with CEO Jeff Hyman who told us why his company is a little bit different.
Jeff: Retrofit is the first weight loss program specifically designed for busy professionals. We started the company because we found there were lots of people, in our research, that didn't want to do group lessons. They preferred private lessons, so Retrofit does just that. We deliver private lessons for weight loss.
This is not a diet. We never use the word diet. Diets are not sustainable, and the average dieter actually gains the weight back within a year. Rather than teaching people how to diet, we teach people how to make sustained lifestyle choices.
Dominic: Now, it's a program that anybody can use, but retired NFL player Reggie Smith is Vice President of Business Development for Retrofit, and he's here to tell us how Retrofit is helping former NFL players, like himself, shed those pounds.
Reggie, I've got to say, the most interesting part about this conversation is how you became involved with Retrofit. What exactly brought you and Retrofit together to begin with?
Reggie: Well, when Retrofit approached the Chicago Chapter of the NFLPA to get the guys healthy, I joined and some of my guys joined. I found, after a couple of months of great success, this was the only thing I was talking about, not only getting our guys healthy, but contributing to getting America healthy.
Dominic: It's one thing to get healthy yourself. But why then team up? You are now a part of the Retrofit team. Why become the Vice President of Business Development for a company like Retrofit?
Reggie: I was having so much fun talking about it and became so passionate about it, Jeff and I had a conversation and here I am.
Dominic: Let's talk about the program. We've got some interesting gear here. We've got a wi-fi enabled smart scale that measures body fat and weight. We've got a Fitbit that counts your calories, even when you're sleeping. All of that gets fed up into your iPad, into the cloud in some way, shape, or form.
Dominic: Talk to us about this 21st century approach. Why is this stuff important to the success of Retrofit, and how is it actually helping players get those weight loss goals more attainable here?
Reggie: All about private lessons and data. Step on this scale, goes right to the Internet. Take your steps, sleeping, calories counted, goes to the Internet. That data is tracked over one year, from day one to the end of the program. After a year, you get all the data. It's important. When I step on it, I see the scale. There's my weight. I get a call from one of my experts. My weight is down, congratulations. "Hey, your weight is up. What are we going to do to get it down?"
Dominic: Now, let's talk about that, because you're talking about conferencing. You're teleconferencing with expert professionals as part of your weight loss team, your health team. How exactly does one accomplish that? You're doing it through teleconferencing via Skype, of all things, right?
Reggie: Yes. Yes, and that's why it's so important, and the NFL guys like it, because it's private lessons. It's one-on-one. We're used to coaching. This is a way that I can get tools from someone that knows, who's done it, and says, "This is what we need to do to get better. Now go about doing it."
Dominic: As we talk about the program, let's talk about your ties to the NFL. You're a former player yourself.
Dominic: You were the epitome of life after football. But why is it that the NFL Players Association and the former players, as part of that program, are getting so in tuned with this health and wellness regimen? How much is it to do with what's happening right now with the NFL's overall health and wellness efforts, even for active players?
Reggie: I congratulate the NFLPA. The NFLPA is all about the guys, making sure the guys transition well. One part of transition is health. You spend time beating up your body. I mean, I'm never going to be a small guy, but consuming calories in the NFL, and then you stop and you consume those same calories, your weight will creep up over time.
This is a way to talk to guys about getting healthy. My blood pressure numbers, cholesterol, all those things are going to come down while I'm on the program and eating healthy.
Dominic: Well, CEO Jeff Hyman this is not a diet. This is not just a typical calorie counting program. What makes Retrofit different from me just counting calories on my iPad app?
Reggie: Well, we focus on activity, and we focus on giving tools. If I'm talking to my registered dietician, they're going to talk about the foods that I'm eating, not counting calories, and the choices that I'm making. I'm getting coached on choices, not, "Don't consume 2000 calories or 3000 calories. What are you eating, and why are you eating it?"
Dominic: Got you. Reggie, this is all part of a holistic program. Matt Miller, it's also interesting that they're teaming up with the NFLPA. Retrofit, NFL Players Association, it's all about getting people back together and getting healthy. If you have a New Year's resolution, Matt, this is one way to help you shed off some of those pounds.
Matt: Very cool, very cool stuff. I think I am one of the many people who wants to hit the gym more often, more often than never. Dom, thanks very much. Reggie Smith, pleasure seeing you in the office.