While some gyms are slowly re-opening, during COVID-19, home fitness and the way we keep our bodies in shape has grown by epic proportions.
Whether it’s a yoga class on Zoom, panic-buying a Peloton, or trying to follow along to our favorite social media stars, many of us are trying to find ways to exercise effectively within four walls. Enter in: HeatXtreme, a company that has been around since the early days of Instagram, but has seen its company grow and grow throughout the pandemic.
With HeatXtreme, the company offers people various platforms to try out and keep an active healthy lifestyle. The company has a HeatXtreme Challenge, that allows people to enter in for a chance to win thousands of dollars every 6 weeks for various categories like weight loss, bulks, etc.; The challenges are put on by the company’s celebrity trainers who have worked with all the big names in Hollywood too. In addition, HeatXtreme has a supplement line, so people can get their favorite products that match their routines, and HeatFlix, an online subscription for videos that are fitness-based — Watch out Netflix!!!
Behind the company is CEO Abdul Elidrissi and CTO Shihan Chowdhury. We spoke to them both about coming up with such an incredible company, future trends they predict in their industry, but also how currently they are changing people’s lives during COVID-19.
- How did you come up with the HeatXtreme concept and company?
The story of HeatXtreme actually has quite a bit of background to it. It all started with Shihan and I, 7 years ago, coming up with the concept of a full-fledged media company. Today we call it Power Media Group (PMG). For years we have built up many e-commerce businesses in the fitness space, such as our former fitness brand ‘Shedfat’. This was a company that we built up around an influencer, where we sold Custom Plans, Supplements, Workout Accessories, and much more to help people transform their bodies.
Fortunately for us, we built a camera crew that could shoot content and workout programs, so we knew we could leverage our team to ultimately help other fitness influencers that were trying to build up their businesses. Down the road, things veered off with the influencer, which we branded around Shedfat, so we started working with another fitness influencer named DP. DP was running a challenge at the time called the “H.E.A.T. Challenge”, an 8 week transformation challenge where 5 people with the most significant, impressive transformation at the end of 8 weeks received a monetary reward.
As time went on, we used our back end marketing/ e-commerce/ content creation abilities to help DP scale the challenge successfully. In January of 2020, we merged our companies assets (Shedfat) and DP’s Company (H.E.A.T. Challenge) to create HEATXtreme.
- Why is fitness such an important part of your life, even before HeatXtreme?
Both Shihan and I played sports in high school, so being physically active has always been a part of our lives. Exercise is one of those things that has always made us feel better and more confident about ourselves, and we wanted the world to get the feeling that we got to experience. Changing lives and impacting people on a large scale is something that we get such a gratifying feeling from, and we want to expand the amount of people we can help exponentially!
- What were the first Instagram accounts you registered?
@Workoutroutine was my first big account I got to pop. Even till today I still have it and it’s very special to me. I used to use it to repost content from influencers and made a general workout page. Ultimately I leveraged the following I got to start selling shoutouts and making money from the account. Today it exists as the @heatxtreme IG page!
@shedfat was my second page I got a large following on. This was the brand I mentioned above that we built over the years. The content we posted was mainly built around selling our supplements. However, we used nice cars and action-like concepts and people really enjoyed what we posted! This exists today as the @heatperformance IG page!
- How is HeatXtreme disrupting the fitness industry?
The unique aspect that we have that really disrupts the fitness industry is a combination of technology & media. We have the resources to both build an app, where we can control all aspects from the interface to the information, to the videos seen, to anything really. Secondly, we are great at building up social media pages and have been successful at doing it time and time again. With the digital era strongly approaching, we feel that we are right on track to doing some serious damage over the next 5-10 years! Following both of those strong skills, our goal is to make fitness as accessible, affordable and effective for people as possible. By using our app, people will be working with the most robust algorithm to determine goal calories based on user preference, eating lifestyles and habits.
- What other industries have you been taking on and disrupting?
Shihan and I have our foot in a couple of different industries. Personally, I have a home health company that I have been building since I was 24 years old. It is a service that allows Doctors, Nurses, Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists, etc. to come to your home and treat you instead of having to go to a hospital. Ironically, it’s been a business that has thrived off of word of mouth! Recently I have been using my skills of building digital businesses to help market for it. Shihan has created a platform for cannabis dispensaries which has an unique algorithm to determine the medical and general effects of cannabis products. Dispensaries can use this platform to determine the best product for their customer based on the customer’s needs. The platform also has many tools that help the dispensaries make more revenue. Shihan and I plan to market this to dispensaries nationwide in 2021.
- During COVID-19, online and social media companies are booming! How have you been keeping up with the demand and traffic?
We have done a great job at keeping up, and actually have even thrived in the process! First and foremost, our technology has been able to cater to thousands of people in a single platform. So, for the online challenges that we have run, we haven’t missed a beat! From the workout videos to the meal plans to the community, our users/clients have been taken care of.
Even previous to COVID, all of our workout videos have been built around at-home fitness, so once COVID hit, more people actually started to recognize our brand! DP even did a great job of stepping up, hosting Instagram Live Workouts 5 times per week, up to 2 times per day. By doing this in a scheduled and consistent manner, we managed to really excel our business.
- What trends do you see happening as we enter into 2021?
With COVID, the biggest trend we’ll see is more people trying to sell at home fitness programs and live training. Since people are so accustomed to being at home, and gyms have been shut down at one point or another, they have had to workout at home. Why not use workouts that are structured for working out at home! A second trend we see is integrating wearable health data to encourage working out, such as the Apple Watch. Getting data feedback and having ways to gamify working out, such as closing your exercise rings, help people stay motivated to hit certain metrics, and especially help get a feeling of accomplishment during the pandemic.
- How do you select who is a trainer and/or ambassador for your company?
There is a rigorous process to become a trainer for us. We are a company that’s big based on feel and we always like to get to know someone on a personal level first before making a decision on being an athlete or not. Here are some of the questions we evaluate off of-
- Do they live the lifestyle?
- Do they promote what we are aligned with?
- Do they have a true work ethic that is aligned with us?
- Do they seem like someone who wants to work with us for just the short term, or are they in it for the long haul?
- Do they offer something that is unique that we don’t already have in play?
Based on that, if the right person makes sense, then we welcome them onto the team. As of right now, we have only allowed 2 athletes onto the team overtime – Ron Jones (@bigronjones) and Chania Ray (@chaniaray). Both of them are extremely unique and bring a lot of positive light on the brand!
- What are both your ultimate goals for HeatXtreme?
Our goal, simply put, is to be able to impact as many lives as possible through health and fitness as possible. We would love for our brand to be the face of why so many people have been able to achieve bodies and mindset’s they never thought possible. Down the line, we would like to be at the top tier of fitness, constantly providing new programs to consumers of all levels achieve their goals.
- What has been your own favorite HeatXtreme Challenge thus far?
Round 7 was by far the most awesome Round for us. This was the first round we were able to put our brand new app in play that we had been working on for over a year. Not only was that such a gratifying feeling, but we also had some transformations that round like we had never seen before. It was the perfect storm!