The Perfect Workout Playlist With Jonathan Carlucci.
Doug Lotz 00:03
Hey everyone! This is Doug Lotz, active lifestyle enthusiastic armchair futurist and founder of CardioCast an audio guided fitness app where we help people get fit and stay fit by making studio quality fitness classes more accessible and affordable than ever, in delivering the best music and coaching possible. Anytime, anywhere. You’re listening to the CardioCast CoolDown Podcast, where we explore topics, the intersection of health, fitness and personal wellness, you’re ready? Let’s go. Welcome to the CardioCast CoolDown podcast where we explore topics of the intersection between health, fitness and personal wellness. Today, we’ll be talking to Jonathan Carlucci. Jonathan is a longtime veteran of the boutique fitness industry and as our very own VP of talent and content at CardioCast. He’s taught indoor cycling all over the world as a brilliant taste in music mashups. And his work in seemingly every role of the boutique fitness industry. Jonathan, I’m thrilled to have you on the show today, and get to chat a little bit, maybe outside of the swimlanes of our normal day to day here.
Jonathan Carlucci 01:03
I’m excited to be here. And that was quite the introduction. Thank you.
Doug Lotz 01:09
So I like to kick things off with a little bit about your why why you do what you do. And almost inevitably, that always leads to, you know, telling us kind of how you got to where you are today in the process. But so, so, yeah, tell us a little bit about what you do and why you do it. Sure.
Jonathan Carlucci 01:28
So over the past 11 years, living in New York, I’ve dabbled in everything from working behind the front desk at a cycling studio to learning to train to teach to being able to direct programs and train new instructors. And teach and do training across the globe. I grew up not a fitness person, which tends to not surprise people. But I I played seventh grade basketball that was about the extent of my fitness career in school. And during my seventh grade basketball season, I scored one basket and it was for the other team, not sure how it happened. But I was
Doug Lotz 02:15
about to say that’s better than me. But the for the other team. But
Jonathan Carlucci 02:22
yeah, we had to take PE we, you know, had to do all the required things in school. And there were some things I enjoyed. But by the time I got to high school, it was very clear my interests were moving beyond sports and fitness. And I remember like taking PE one day, and it was the volleyball unit and the gym teacher, sorry, phys ed teacher, some of us are sensitive about that. The phys ed teacher, like gotten my face and yelled at me because I couldn’t spike the ball when I was like a freshman in high school. So that also turned me very off to fitness and sports. Fast forward to, you know, taking dance classes in college and getting into a little bit of Pilates and realizing, oh, this is something I like, get to New York, and I ended up taking my first cycling class. And I realized that it was something that was driven by music, and that I had control of the resistance style and what the experience would be for myself. And no matter what I had to give, I could feel successful walking out of the room. So that was an epiphany moment. And that was also pretty much right around the birth infancy of boutique Fitness in New York. So I latched on and immersed myself and that’s that feeling is why I love to teach and hope that my writers and whatever workout I’m coaching, I can help people find that same feeling of accomplishment and that they’ve done something great for themselves and don’t have to explain or justify it to anyone else. And similarly, you know, I’ve had experiences being managed, where either the manager didn’t know how to talk to talent or not that we ever have egos or can easily get flustered, but or just, you know, people didn’t see what I wanted them to see you’re really to see how I fit into their picture. And that’s given me a very unique approach to training new instructors and you can’t you can’t give the same feedback to every instructor. You can’t do it in the same way. You have to find common ground with every person you train, which keeps it new and exciting. And you know, I’ve probably at this point trained close to 100 people between my entire career I haven’t kept track because that doesn’t really seem like a fair thing to do. Like, I’ve been very fortunate to do that.
Doug Lotz 05:02
Well, so yeah, just going back to your your, you know, first coming to New York, I actually I did not know you had not taken a cycling class before coming to New York. That’s a pretty that’s a pretty pivotable moment, you know, looking back in your career, but so you’re from, you’re from Erie, Pennsylvania, right.
Jonathan Carlucci 05:21
Yep. The mistake by the lake as we call it.
Doug Lotz 05:26
Yeah, it’s so just for the record, what high school did you go to? I’m actually curious now, because I seem to know a lot of people from Erie all of a sudden, like in my life, it’s like this weird, eerie magnet like my girlfriend’s from you. I’m not quite sure what’s going on there. But But yeah, I’m now starting to put a mental map together.
Jonathan Carlucci 05:46
Buckle up. I went to Northwest Pennsylvania collegiate Academy.
Doug Lotz 05:50
All right. Cool. And so when you came to New York, or, you know, you we missed a step somewhere. I think in there you studied musical theater, right, at some point. And I imagine, I think were you originally joined in New York for that, or was it you know, just the, you know, a lot of the Big Apple or, you know what brought you the city?
Jonathan Carlucci 06:12
Yeah, so I went to Shenandoah conservatory in Virginia, in Winchester, Virginia for music theater. And as a junior in the program, one of my friends who had already graduated and was scouring audition notices all the time, sent me a link for new musical that was coming off Broadway. The year before in school, we had done a production, a children’s theater production of Rumpelstiltskin, and the director had a great vision to make Rumplestiltskin a puppet. So he entrusted that to me. And I built this five and a half foot tall, two person puppet and we performed it and it was very well received. And so then the cat was out of the bag that I actually grew up as a very young child from a very young child doing puppetry. So my friends sent me knowing that I was into puppets sent me this audition notice for a show called imagine notion that was john Tartaglia, who was an avenue Q. Tony Award nominee for Avenue Q. And I got on a boat bus. I’m not sure that those still exist, but I
Doug Lotz 07:27
think they’re still there. I mean, it’s better than like the fun la bus that used to take.
Jonathan Carlucci 07:33
Yeah, yeah, bolt, bus, mega bus, all of those things. So I got on a bus and I came to New York. And I had a puppet in my knapsack and did the audition. Got called back that same day. And then the next day, I believe, they called and offered me a contract. So you know, if you were to tell six year old Jonathan, hey, one day, you’re going to be offered a contract to do blacklight puppets Off Broadway, he would have thrown his hands up, screaming and enjoy. So I actually left Shenandoah, and ended up finishing my degree from New York. So I like to think I was pioneering we didn’t have zoom then, but like Skype Learning and Digital remote learning. So I did that while doing the show. But I quickly learned how expensive New York was and that doing blacklight puppets Off Broadway didn’t pay all the bills. So one of my cast members, her partner managed the cycling studio on the Upper East Side. And she got me in there behind the front desk, which was great and very, very steady and just, you know, customer facing things that I was good at. And of course, I had to try a cycling class so I knew what it was about. And that’s where I took my first class.
Doug Lotz 08:49
This that flywheel at this point, or
Jonathan Carlucci 08:51
it was right to the zone, which then was sold and closed and reopened to flywheel their original Upper East Side location. Yeah. And as if, like, life isn’t funny enough, the cement outside of this building on a 67th Street if you look in the sidewalk, there are two flipper prints and they’re Kermit the frog’s feet because that used to be the Muppet workshop in New York.
Doug Lotz 09:21
So So now we are not we, you know, you’re you’re working with with a security cast. You manage our, all of our talent. So all the coaches, you’re also of course, a very popular coach yourself on the platform, you manage your music library, you help us you know, build out all the content in the backend systems and everything. So, so, hotseat time, what’s your favorite part about your job?
Jonathan Carlucci 09:46
And what’s your least favorite part? Favorite part would have to be working with coaches and we have so many coaches that have just as big if not a bigger history in this industry than I do. But working as colleagues to, to unlock something new and different, because all of us that have come to cardio cast realize that it’s a completely different experience. And we have to approach it differently than going into a studio and teaching a class to 40 different people well, back in the day, 40 different people all at once. So getting to kind of forge those relationships and help other people continue to evolve in their skill set and career as well. Least favorite parts would probably be email. I, I’m not an email person. I think it comes from overthinking. And it takes me forever to write one, which I’ve been able to chisel away at that composition time. I mean, it
Doug Lotz 10:53
actually is kind of the bane of my existence to you know, it’s so critical as like a founder, for instance, to have to be you know, especially now like you’re constantly networking via email, you’re always doing follow ups, you’re always chasing people down with cold emails. And it’s just like, the amount of time and the amount and the amount of like nodes and connections between different people now is staggering to manage as a, you know, individual. Yeah, that people just didn’t do it before they had all this tech to enable it. So it’s, you get this like anxiety to like, get this email that comes in, you’re not really sure how to answer it. And then you like to sit on it for a minute. And then you’re like, Damn, it’s like two days later as now it’s awkward. Now, I replied. And then as you can, it just snowballs. It’s terrible. Yeah, it’s like there’s, there’s, you know, techniques being used to chip away at things like that. But man, yeah, once you get caught in one of those traps,
Jonathan Carlucci 11:44
it’s rough. I’ve tried to reason with myself that for the most part, like 90% of emails that I would do, the other person isn’t waiting, looking at their phone or inbox. As if my reply is the only thing going on in their world. Obviously, yeah, obviously, if it’s, if it’s a bit of a delay, you have to acknowledge that but because I realized, like, when I get a reply back, I’m like, Oh, yeah, that was like four days, clearly, they
Doug Lotz 12:12
had other stuff going on, oh, now we got Slack, we’ve got text, we’ve got email, we’ve got you know, you know, we’ve got video calls, we’ve got audio calls, you’ve got all this crazy, you know, I mean, the biggest challenge, so we, you know, for those of you who don’t know, cardia cast is a completely distributed team, I’ll use that rather than remote because we don’t have anything to be remote from is fully distributed. So it’s an interesting, you know, it’s it, we were kind of doing this before, it was a thing with, you know, with COVID, kind of forcing people to work from home. And, you know, communications is not easy. I mean, a lot of written communication is very challenging when it’s kind of done and, you know, all these different formats, and they’re varying speeds and shorthands. And it’s always hard to get a sense of what people and then nobody wants to send on a video chat all day. Like, it’s just, it’s exhausting. Because you’re like, you see yourself in a little, you know, square in the corner. It’s zoom fatigue is real, which, you know, hey, plug for cardiac cast is great to not spend more time staring at your screen when you’re going to distress and work out. But actually pop some earbuds in and focus on your body and focus on the experience and you know, just get this audio experience, which is what we’re all about. So, shameless plug
Jonathan Carlucci 13:22
completely. That’s one of the biggest comments that I get back from people that I’m chatting with about using cardio cast. And, you know, it’s been a rough and very weird year, and I’m actually thinking about bringing back the beeper as well. So if you can’t slack me, you can’t text me. Send me a page.
Doug Lotz 13:45
It took me a hot second. I’m like, do you mean like a real beeper? Like a pager?
Jonathan Carlucci 13:51
Yeah, yeah, paged me, I’ll look at the number and then not want to call it so I’ll text it back.
Doug Lotz 13:57
I mean, I kind of treat my cell phone like a pager anyway, I never actually answer a phone call. It’s just like, oh, that person’s calling interesting,
Jonathan Carlucci 14:04
maybe. And to think that we used to buy ring tones and spend a lot of time.
Doug Lotz 14:09
Yeah, right. Right now, not just or not even, like, it’s not even there. So I you know, just brings me back to like, you know, how we first got connected with you, as you know, in cardiac cast. And I remember, it was like an Instagram dm or something with like you and Noel or so I don’t know, there was something like I’m just recalling the story. It was 2000
Jonathan Carlucci 14:33
Yeah. 2000, very early 2016 I think, or very late 2015. It It was funny because Noel and I are colleagues and friends and have worked together for quite some time. And this is
Doug Lotz 14:47
Noel note Yo, for those who don’t know, she’s another coach on the app and a master instructor who also kind of travels the world training people and all that good stuff.
Jonathan Carlucci 14:55
Yes. And I’ve I’ve tagged along to a couple of her projects. She was kind And enough to bring me along the we she was probably abroad at the time or in California, where she’s based when she’s in the US. And we had both stumbled upon cycle cast at the time. And we’re thinking about reaching out and making some sort of contact, we were both very intrigued with what the platform was building. And so she and I talked about it. And she said, Oh, well, I was going to reach out and said, I was going to reach out, let’s reach out together. And she was planning on being in New York, New York City visiting at one point, and I think, then we were able to schedule a meet up at Grand Central Station, which if you’re not from New York, there are other things than just trains at Grand Central. It’s very grand, if you will. But there are restaurants and tables and all of that good stuff. Yes. And there’s an apple store now.
Doug Lotz 16:02
So I’ve taken a lot of your classes, at least digital ones, at this point. And I know a ton of our cardio cast subscribers would agree with me that your classes are always super uplifting and positive and fun, filled with great music. But, you know, I guess in your own words, how would you describe the way that you teach and train people, especially when it comes to you know, folks who are taking your classes?
Jonathan Carlucci 16:28
Totally, there are so many layers to teaching, and it takes time to develop a skill set to where you feel like because as coaches, it’s pretty much like our classes, our product, it’s us. It takes time to develop that and confidence. And I’ve always felt that the moment I feel like I’ve arrived is when I become completely obsolete. So I challenged myself to continue evolving, always. I, the funny thing is, is I missed a lot of the music of the 90s and early 2000s. Because we listened to specifically like Christian music growing up. As I was going into sixth grade, I was at this summer festival for our town and there was a video Dance Party, which was like kind of revolutionary. And this music video was playing. And it was this girl like with pigtails in high school hallway and then on a basketball court. And I was like, this is amazing Who is this and it was hit me Baby One More Time. My friends were like, this is this is Britney Spears, we’ll teach you. So I found getting into teaching like I dig back. And I discovered these dogs that might be, you know, old favorites for everyone else. But it can be relatively new to me. And my my ability to search through genres and kind of have a good catalog in my head has expanded over the last decade. But I always think for what we do on the indoor bike and any class that I’m teaching, the music has to inform what’s happening. And the great thing about music is we all have different tastes sweet, have different preferences. I know Doug, you live for rock, and I love rock too. I also lean into other things very heavily. So it’s I learned very early on that you will never make a playlist that pleases everyone 100% of the time, especially in a class setting with 40 different people. But if you can give people enough places to hook in, they’ll they’ll go along for the ride or whatever class you’re teaching, and taking the music and its dynamics and informing the work and creating a workout that is challenging, but attainable. Because I don’t want to set writers up to not be successful. You don’t want to be discouraged at the end of the class. And I know especially this year, we’ve been dealing with health issues we’ve had, I’ve talked to a lot of people have reached out that may have had COVID and got back on the bike and they’re working on their lung capacity. And we have to reset and re readjust what we know and we think we’re capable of so creating something that is flexible enough to be adapted to wherever someone is at the moment.
Doug Lotz 19:54
Yeah, I love that about the way that we coach or you know, I know that you have always done this and we kind of preach For all the folks that were looking to onboard and train, but you know, setting things up, so you don’t say you must hit this, right, this level of intensity, this gear this whatever, go go go push, push, push, can you make it, instead of doing that, you know, we kind of go the other way around, it’s like, you know, set your, your best, and then you know, kind of, like, can you exceed it, right, so instead of like, you set a bar, and then you try to go above the bar, rather than setting the bar super high, and then trying to like, see who gets there, right. And that sort of coaching style, I think is just it’s, you know, that’s a positive sort of building experience, rather than, you know, potentially a defeating experience, right. Which is, is just super, you know, I think super important for anybody who’s, you know, who’s trying to put content together that’s going to, you know, help people feel good about fitness, right, and feel good about themselves.
Jonathan Carlucci 20:55
Yeah. And it’s, when I record something, I picture someone writing to it, I picture myself coaching someone and speaking directly to them. But I don’t know who’s gonna hit play on that. And one thing you learn in the technical aspect of cycling is, if I were to put, you know, a very lean, very thin, small framed runner on one bike, and I put an NFL linebacker on the bike next to them, and told them both to add four turns of resistance and ride 80 to 90 RPM, they’re going to feel it in very different ways, I can’t prescribe that exact. So I can tell you, here’s your guide for your speed. Now you take control of the resistance, or the intensity to create this feeling for you. I can’t prescribe, you know, your power numbers, your, your output, but I can help you hopefully unlock your best and understand.
Doug Lotz 22:03
And hopefully, I mean, of course, have some fun, too, I think the thing that drove me, you know, to get involved in all this and to start working, or at least one of the things that really drove me to get doing this whole cycling thing was the inner cycling classes, all like you said, it’s all about the music. And if it’s not about the music, and if you don’t enjoy the music, and this just doesn’t feel it, you know, lacks emotion and lacks connection, it just doesn’t seem like something I want to like, you know, I can go just run around and might listen to music and get a good workout. Like it’s all about, you know, doing something that’s gonna be fun and like emotion, you know, the emotion of the music is going to come through and I always, you know, that was what drew me in to this whole boutique fitness thing is just, it’s also driven by music. And I think, you know, you know, your ability to kind of tie music together. And yeah, you don’t necessarily, you can’t please everybody, but it is kind of, I think, I think this is where the mashups come in there. There may be your secret weapon, because they involve so many different class like songs that you can please more people like, Oh, yeah, that little like, I got 30 seconds of this thing that only Yeah, that’s like my jam, and then it like, you know, goes into something else. And that’s, Oh, that’s cool. I didn’t realize those two are kind of related like that. And so yeah, I mean, you’re the mashup King, for sure. But, you know, I think you’ve even produced some right in the past. I’m curious how that works. How you, you know, I know, there’s like the you get all the music from DJ sites and stuff, but like, what makes a good mash up? How do you how do you make that, you know, how do you connect the dots and build that,
Jonathan Carlucci 23:38
it’s interesting, because there’s a lot of music theory involved in it. And even Justin, creating an entire playlist if you’re not making music, but I like to try and retain as much of the original feeling of something as possible. So if I were to have to tweak a vocal line, a couple keys to change it to match the instrumental, it’s going to sound really weird. And sometimes that’s a good effect, but sometimes it just doesn’t work. So there’s, you have to find stuff that fits in the right tempo together, as well as pretty much the same key or adjacent keys. There’s some great plugins for digital audio workstation platforms that you create the music in that will actually help you identify keys. A lot of DJ music is already marked with it, which is great, but it has to make sense emotionally. Like when when you come down to it like you know there I forget what exactly it is. Oh, okay. I think I shared this mash up with you and I it’s amazing because I would never think of it in my head but it’s not something I actually want to work out to. But somebody took it’s raining men, the weather girls, as like the end Mental on some of the vocals and then put Drowning Pool Let the bodies hit the floor on top of it. And it’s just it’s so jarring it would take me out of the moment but I can play it and appreciate it for like the musical genius it took to create it
Doug Lotz 25:17
that’s pretty good. The imagery there with the the rain in the in the Yeah. Yeah. Anyway, it’s pretty funny. Yeah, I mean, for me, it’s, well, I always keep things kind of, well, I don’t I get bored if I do too much of the say like, if I get bored of the elliptical, I’ll go to the rower if I’m get bored with that I’m gonna go for a run. But like, you know, it’s, it’s also about the musical. So I know I definitely love rock and roll but like, I will definitely mix it up and go, you know, listen to just the whatever the latest EDM is or? Yeah, 90s hip hop is fun. I you know, it says one of those things, I kind of have a mood for every genre, right? I mean, if I’m sitting here working, I’ll be like listening to classical music a lot. We’re more nerdy than that, like game soundtracks get us, you know, again, fitness nerd here, but it is just, you know, it’s, it’s interesting, we have this audio platform, and it’s tough to figure out the music thing, because you know, we can get hyper personalized with it in terms of like a playlist, it’s all the same. But you know, it’s tough, the same genre, I mean, but it’s tough, because you also want to appeal to different people, and like, a coach might be really great. But like, you know, if they’re only playing, you know, classic rock, you might alienate this person who only wants hip hop. So, you know, it’s a challenge we have in Korea cast, I would say, as the platform evolves, how do we give this you know, music choice, while still fitting in the licensing model that we’re doing? And it’s, you know, it’s something that I know, you know, Jonathan, you and I are navigating with coaches now trying to create this, you know, maybe cohesive, more cohesive playlists, but, you know, still maybe not pegging people into a corner and never letting them explore, because that’s a big part of it. You guys are DJs. Right? building these classes. So
Jonathan Carlucci 27:04
yeah, as instructors, you, when you’re working face to face with people, especially you find like, someone expects you to be everything, whether it’s a DJ, a fitness instructor, there’s some people that ask us for nutrition advice, and, like medical advice, which, if you’re not a nutritionist, you’re not give it if you’re not a medical doctor, do not get it. And, you know, a therapist, a best friend, a confidant, so it’s, it’s really interesting to see how relationships can form but yeah, it’s, it’s giving a playlist that hopefully doesn’t give the listener musical whiplash. And I say that, but I qualify it because I’ve also, you know, mixed Adele into ludicrous. And that worked as a transition somehow. But you don’t want it to feel one note. So it needs to have different textures, different emotions, vocal qualities, pitches and tempos.
Doug Lotz 28:10
I want to talk a little bit about the future of fitness. And I think maybe starting in the short term, and then we can kind of go medium long term scenarios. But I know you’re back. You’re back teaching live in person, you know, at Equinox right now, which is after some, you know, late reopening here, it’s a little scary. You know, at the time of recording, I’m not sure when people hear this, but, you know, how’s the boutique fitness scene in New York right now, as it stands, you know, kind of in the midst of this, in the the vaccine rollout and people kind of trying to get back to things.
Jonathan Carlucci 28:46
Yeah, we’ve lost a couple brands throughout the past year. And you know, we’ve often talked, Doug that like, there’s enough pie for everyone in the fitness world, like, we don’t need to box anyone out to have more for ourselves. And thinking about people who start brands and studios that it’s their dream and their passion and it breaks my heart to see that go under, for, for whomever is is dealing with that. So what I always thought, having lived in New York the past 11 years that the three unstoppable forces of New York were restaurants fitness and theater, and this last year shut every single one of them down. Before we went into shutdown, the boutique market in New York was oversaturated which is great for consumers but As a studio owner or manager, it’s, you have to find your brand differentiator and your crowd and your crew. And it became really hard to cultivate a steady community when people were jumping around to a lot of different studios. And not buying directly from the studio, you know, going into shutdown. There have been some amazing pivots that people have been able to connect to their community digitally, or start new, live class schedules, coaches have done it themselves instructors, and I, I applaud also fitness, restaurant and theater people, because they are some, if not the most hardworking people in New York,
Doug Lotz 30:56
I think you’ve personally worked in all of those industries, at least in one way or another.
Jonathan Carlucci 31:00
So maybe I’m partial, but also some of the most creative and inventive people who, you know, I think it’s very easy to feel like the world knocks you on your butt and just stay down and wallow. But the resiliency of fitness, in particular, has been really amazing to see. And it came at a time when Yes, instructors were trying to continue to make a living after the rug got pulled out from underneath us, but also at a time when people needed some sort of community to be a part of still and latch on to. And it was just fantastic to see having just reopened in New York, we’re in the second week now. And there’s been a steady increase of, of people coming back. And I’ve been checking in with all of my riders at the end of class, obviously, before class two, but after class, because over the past two weeks, I’ve had many, this is my first time back, this is my first time on a bike in a year. And now I’m in a mask. And we can’t turn the fans on for safety. But the silver lining to that is you don’t have five other people within the five foot radius of you producing their own body heat. So you have a little bit more breathing room. Yeah, but everyone seems to be really grateful that another layer of something that feels somewhat normal, is coming back. They, they feel good about the spacing, they’re working with, you know, with the mask, and it’s up to us as instructors to make sure we’re programming and creating classes that work in these parameters. So I’m not asking for sprint maximum power efforts, when you’re in a mask. There are many other effective ways, you know, to work right now. And, and that’s what we’re gonna do. I haven’t caught any studio classes, in specific boutique brands. But, you know, I hope that as we continue to figure out as a state and city and country, how we rebound from this, that there’s there’s something accounted for and considered with the bills that have racked up rent and insurance and utilities, because, you know, I don’t want to see any more brands disappear off
Doug Lotz 33:48
off the timeline. You know, when do we think? And what do we think is gonna look like later this year? And I’ll go ahead, go first, you know, I’m sort of, alright, you know, vaccines are coming. I mean, they’re already here for you know, some folks and, you know, broader population coming soon. I still I mean, I’m, it sounds like people are trickling back in the sense of community, that sense of like, there’s, you know, there’s a, I would think, a pent up demand for something social and real, right. I think that once people feel safe, like once they’re vaccinated, they’re like, I feel safe. Once they feel safe. Because that’s you at the end of the day. I mean, yeah, I know we’re helping everybody else and everything but like, do you feel safe right? Once you feel safe, you’re happy to go back into the studio and you’re just going to be everywhere look, everybody else is vaccinated here too. And then I think things will come You know, if not roaring back right away by the time that were said and done with the the come coming back period, you know, whether that’s like, as far out as q1 next year, q4, this year, you know, back when it’s kind of the the workout season again, I think that pent up demand for in person fitness is going to boost things and it’s gonna meet or exceed where it was previously? You know, me interesting. We could talk midterm, you know, sort of like future stuff in a second here. But like, at least in the short term, I don’t know, there’s like, you know, a few places got knocked out. So there’s only so many places left. And then if the demand catches it could get crowded in there could actually, I don’t know, what’s your what’s your thought? I mean, I’m going to, I’m going to say, by the end of the year, we’re going to be, and you know, whether this is wishful thinking or really reality, I don’t know. But assuming that everybody who wants to have a vaccine is going to be impacted by the feeling of safety, that that either gives them you know, if they have it, or they don’t have they don’t have it, I’m going to say that they’re going to be back in the studio, and it’s going to be back to normal.
Jonathan Carlucci 35:51
Yeah. I think that people are eager to be back in community in person. But right now, the, the community pockets that I would see, like within one of my classes, where there was a couple different groups of friends that would come, that’s not happening and people aren’t staying around to meet each other right now.
Doug Lotz 36:17
People aren’t even in New York City period right now.
Jonathan Carlucci 36:20
Right. So we’ve, we’ve had a lot of instructors and coaches move out of New York City and forgot to add
Doug Lotz 36:25
one thing to my prediction, I literally have written here, right in my notes, which is that I think it’s going to happen first, you’re gonna have a lot more demand in the suburbs than he used to have. So there’s a lot of opportunity if you’re somebody who, you know, hadn’t either had an expanded or had an open your suburban, you know, boutique, you know, place or you’re one of the expats coming from out of, you know, one of these cities, I think that trend is gonna continue, I noticed it just in the suburbs around New York City, you know, even five years ago, you know, just more and more places opening up. You know, I don’t know if they’ve survived at this point. But assuming they did, because, you know, local community support for them, I’m sure it’s high. Assuming folks have survived I think they’re going to be booming out there in the burbs.
Jonathan Carlucci 37:07
I do think even with the majority of the population, hopefully vaccinated, and even as we’re vaccinated, and we feel safe ourselves, looking at previous generations, and, you know, if you’re of a certain age, you either have parents or grandparents that lived through the Great Depression. And there was kind of a mindset that a lot of that generation had, like, Don’t waste the last three bytes on your plate, like don’t throw that shirt out, we’re going to use it as rags.
Doug Lotz 37:39
Yeah, the the the drawer full of rubber bands and buttons for my grandmother comes into mind.
Jonathan Carlucci 37:45
Yeah, and I think all of us who have been living through COVID are always going to have some of that, in the back of our minds, like, I can see that affecting studios that at one point, were putting as many bikes in a room as they could. And if you can’t fit between the handlebars, like climb over to having to space them out a bit more and reduce capacity, because people aren’t going to want someone huffing and puffing right next to them. We might not be sharing equipment in circuit classes as much anymore.
Doug Lotz 38:27
I for one would like the personal space thing to stay. I know, we’ve talked about that in the past, not having somebody in a restaurant, like talking right here. And like, you know, you feel like you’re on a you’re gonna like quadruple date. Right. So So I say, you know, by the end of the year, you know, quote, normal feeling. I don’t know if that’s, I don’t know what you feel, or you want to stick it stick a claim here. And then we can go back and talk about it later. But
Jonathan Carlucci 38:54
I would I would agree with end of the year. I think that that’s Grappa Fauci would agree with us as well.
Doug Lotz 39:02
Yeah, I think so. I mean, you know, it’s gonna take a long time for the entire world, but just looking at where the US trajectory is going, you know, we’ll see, but, no, we’re calling it. Alright. So, you know, midterm predictions. You know, it’s in the next two to three years. I, you know, I’ve heard things about, you know, sort of this digital mixed offering here to stay and I 100%. Agree. I think, like I said, that pent up demand for social interaction is there though, and I think there folks are going to find new and innovative ways to sort of form communities, that studio or in studio classes, but you know, I there’s definitely all of these brands that have now had the pivot, you know, the brick and mortar brands who’ve had to pivot pivot to digital are going to try to make money off of that, and I think they’re probably going to succeed in some way, shape or form because there’s this demands to be able to take things kind of on your own Time and stuff, I don’t know how much, you know, some of these folks might end up abandoning it just because the resources, you know, to, as we know, to go into digital, it’s like a whole new thing. And now all of a sudden, if their focus is on these, you know, brick and mortar spaces, and like those experiences, and, you know, everything they want to put into that, to make those special, I don’t know where that, you know, divide are where that tug of war sort of leads, but I do think that there’s an expectation probably that you can get your you know, you can have an in person, you know, live sort of class with others, you can have your brick and mortar in person individually experience, you can have your at home live experience, you can have your at home on demand experience, the two of which are very different, as we know, cardiac as you know, we’re an on demand, sort of, like, when you want it service, not like a live service with everyone else, and the to have value, but all these seats, I guess all this to say that, you know, I think that there’s going to be, you know, continue to be a proliferation of these sort of mixed experiences and offerings that these companies are going to have, and should be an interesting ride for for all of us in the biz here. Yeah, so all right, it’s sort of not much of a prediction to say that the digital stuff is gonna is here to stay. But But I think the nature of it in providing that variety, I think making things more personalized, and sort of stats driven, and a lot of ways like so, you know, connected, personal. You know, those are kind of the trends that are that are here to stay. And then I think also the wellness trend, not just the health part, but the wellness part. And people kind of like feeling the stress and everything of the last year. So I think there’s a lot more my mindfulness, about mindfulness, if you will, instead of tying the full circle of health together with fitness is going to be a thing. So
Jonathan Carlucci 41:55
I do think some of the digital is going to shake out with it’s, it’s very hard technology wise, because if you’re a brick and mortar studio, the technology you have in house was not necessarily designed to do digital and stream and, you know, record that way.
Doug Lotz 42:15
I wonder how long zoom classes with crappy sound and like weird music and like the poor experience that was just good enough, because you wanted to support you know, your local coach or trainer, you know, like, what happens when they are back in the studio? You can just go experience in life, do you really want to pay for that same class?
Jonathan Carlucci 42:31
Yeah, and I mean, a lot of the times the zoom class, or the monthly membership to your instructors platform is a lot less than a gym membership or a boutique credit. But I do think that people are going to be less inclined to travel for in person classes. Because you know, we’re a society that wants instant gratification and a lot of things to be as seamless as possible. And equinoxes original concept and expanding was people aren’t going to travel like more than about 10 blocks in New York City, for their gym. And so we can, we can, you know, build out our portfolio and not cannibalize ourselves. But, you know, I live in Harlem, and I am not inclined to go down to Soho on the train anymore to take a class, when I can hit play on my app,
Doug Lotz 43:32
I wonder too, for those who have sort of exited the city, and you know, maybe don’t have any, like we were just talking about before, like, they’re probably going to be on these digital platforms for quite some time until they get some sort of local, you know, experience that they’re in maybe even that local experiences and have enough variety to sort of satiate everything. So they’re still going to be using these different apps that sort of bring that boutique feel back to them.
Jonathan Carlucci 43:54
And I think that people have figured out how to not only work in their houses or apartments, but also create space for fitness, which we weren’t really forced to do necessarily prior to this. So a lot of us have accumulated fitness equipment as well. I bought a bike in May and, you know, tracked down and had to bribe somebody to get kettlebells and dumbbells, you know, like, bought one dumbbell at one target and then found another 150 miles away and got the matching one. So we have we have stuff on hands now.
Doug Lotz 44:33
So I mean, looking forward in the further out future. I think this is where things get muddy, but you know, there’s augmented and virtual reality stuff that’s kind of percolating, there’s AI driven workouts and things that are kind of mid term, not necessarily super long term. But you know, I could see sort of, just like every industry there being kind of a continuing drive towards, you know, towards using using AI to be service superpower almost sort of like a level up on what you’re doing. So like, Hey, you know, we coach, I don’t know, it’s it’s really a complicated algorithm that we’ll be able to put together a workout that has, you know, the music that as it scaffold, the, you know, the desired goal of like, you know where to bring people emotionally and physically in a workout. But at the end of the day, if you have all the right inputs, if you have all your connected sensors, and you have metadata that reads the music, and knows what’s going on, and you have metadata, you know, there’s like, all the building blocks can come together to really kind of create a Hoover personalized experience that’s driven by sort of, you know, ai powered coaching. And that’s kind of like, you know, if I’m thinking about all the sort of pieces that are combining together, here in the in the next five years, that’s kind of like, yeah, it’s the combination of all those different things. Like if you have better and better machine learning, if you have the, I don’t know, the increasing pressure to have digital and personal options that are like, driven by stats and your own body, and like, you know, relate to you personally, I can see that stuff, kind of becoming, you know, an integral part of these digital offerings that people are providing Absolutely,
Jonathan Carlucci 46:18
I I’m all for adding as much technology as we can into fitness to make it personalized, and therefore more effective for the individual. I also, yeah, I, for me, I consider, especially in cycling, when I am creating a playlist, and I’m thinking of movement and work and hopefully inspirational things to say, to me, it’s very much, there’s a component of artistry. And some classes are just very technical. And it’s only directions, but I think the thing that people love about fitness and boutique fitness, this experience is the artistry, it’s it’s very much keeping that element of artistry. And as humans, we’re still pretty much creating art and haven’t handed it over to machines. So I think that there’s a really, it’ll be really interesting to see the way that we intertwine these things of artistry and technology.
Doug Lotz 47:25
Yeah, yeah, there’s, there’s some interesting literature out there. Now that’s talking about, you know, well, hey, I generated art, what is art really, you know, in terms of like, the, what it takes to build it, to put it or to produce it, and how people relate to it, appreciate it, and whether that’s really outside or inside the realm of artificial, you know, creation. But, yeah, that’s, that’s a whole nother topic. You know, like you said, there’s, there’s augmented and virtual reality solutions to that, I think there’s that on demand experience. And then there’s a live experience, right. And that live experience is like convenient, because you can do it anywhere. But it’s also, you know, designed to create that sort of community and like together like you’re there together with your coach or your your training instructor, whatever you want to call. So I think that, you know, that desire to sort of be physically present, while not really being physically present with somebody, that’s where I think that AR and VR stuff can really sort of continue to evolve over time, I can see yourself in kind of the, the, the holodeck of peloton rather than there and with the screen. And then the augmented reality calls to be built into the whole stats driven thing pretty, like, you know, a readout of like, you know, instead of staring or like trying to like run and look at your watch, it’s like all right there and you can kind of like in real time understand how you’re doing. So I think that’s just about all we have time for. So I wanted to say, thank you very much for for taking the time to chat with with me here on the credit cast cool down. I know we’ll probably continue these conversations ourselves in the future. Maybe we’ll have to have you back. But yeah, thanks a lot. And it’s been great chatting with you about some other stuff.
Jonathan Carlucci 49:20
As they say at chick fil a My pleasure. It’s it’s totally fun, because I was quite jealous of all the other podcast guests. So thanks for having me.
Doug Lotz 49:32
Yeah, for sure. All right. Well, thank you to all our listeners out there as well. And remember, you can follow us on Instagram at CardioCastApp. And don’t forget to follow this podcast like, leave us a review, whatever your podcast tool, tool of choice lets you do to show us some love. So thanks a lot, everyone for listening. And thank you again, Jonathan, for being here. And we’ll we’ll talk to you all next time. Hey everyone, if you like the CardioCast CoolDown, please don’t forget to leave us a review wherever you’re listening. You can also connect with us on Instagram at CardioCast App, and check out our website, CardioCast.app and check out our app on the App Store or Play Store. See you next week.