In this episode of Next Level Human Podcast, Dr. Jade has an interesting discussion with Joe Vennare. Joe is an entrepreneur and the co-founder of Fitt Insider which is an online platform talking about wellness, health, fitness, news, and trends in the health tech industry. Today, Joe shares more about his company and his opinion on health tech devices, how not to get too obsessed with them, and how to balance the information provided by them and the natural, daily habits we can follow for better health.
The new approaches popping up in health and fitness and all the data we can get from these tech devices are extremely interesting and valid to objectively measure what we can do to take better care of our bodies. On the other hand, too much data can make you fall into the trap of getting too reliant on external help, whereas the most important thing you can do to improve your health still is based on exercise, food quality, managing stress, and getting great sleep. Tune in to learn more and follow Fitt Insider!
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Podcast Intro: [00:14] welcome to the Next Level Human Podcast. As a human, you have a job to do. In fact, you have four jobs; to earn and manage money, to attain and maintain health and fitness, to build and sustain personal relationships, to find meaning and make a difference. None of these jobs are taught in school and that is what this podcast is designed to do. To educate us all on living our most fulfilled lives through the mastery of these four jobs. I'm your host, Dr. Jade Teta and I believe we are here living this life for three reasons and three reasons only; to learn, to teach and to love. In this podcast, I will be learning, teaching, and loving right along with you. I'm grateful to have your company; here is to our next level.
Episode Intro: [01:18] What's going on everybody. So today's show is something a little different for us on the next level human podcast, I got Joe Vennare. Here from fit Insider. Fit insider is a company that focuses really on the tech behind what all of us love in health and fitness. So we're just going to get into this discussion. I am a tech guy. Before we get started, I was just telling Joe, that I have every piece of health tech, there seems that is in existence, that I have all kinds of stuff all over the place. But I'm hoping that he can kind of guide us into what we should be looking at in the future, what is currently available to us and then just an overarching sort of theme about how tech is going to evolve and how we all can use it. But Joe to get started, why don't you get us caught up on telling us a little bit about yourself a little bit about fit Insider, and then let's get into this very sort of interesting conversation about tech in the fitness industry.
Joe: [02:16] thanks for having me. Super stoked to be here and chat all things yet fitness tech innovation. But we come to it, I say we my brother and I have worked in health and fitness industry for you know, 10 plus years, probably 12 years at this point, all around, you know, our mission building businesses that help people live a healthier lifestyle. And that has evolved and grew over time from first, as you know, kids who are overweight growing up in a big Italian family, like how do we get ourselves in shape. Fortunately, getting into sports at an early age playing, I played high school and college football, Anthony played high school football went to the Marines. And then we got into personal training, group fitness, you name it, and that was first to make a buck, you know, try to try to get a little a little extra money, but our passion for that really grew as we were able to impact more people. And at first that was training one person at a park, you know, just them paying us 10 bucks and working out in the local field. And that grew into classes that grew into physical locations, eventually opened a 12,000 square foot, you know, functional training center, and then multiple locations. And yeah, again, it kind of evolved and grew organically over time, I think fortunately, got into the, you know, media, internet, virtual products, information products at a time that was pretty early on, I think an evolution of that. And then more recently called in the last five years into the startup and technology world. So early stage companies investments, really figuring out what's next, what's working, what's not and yeah, being I think, very forward looking in terms of what's coming down the pipeline.
Jade: [03:59] that's why I was excited to talk to you man, because from my perspective, and I'll just give you sort of this the first time by the way for those you listen to Joe and I have actually met and talked. And so I want to give you a little bit of a background Joe just on sort of how I look at this and then jump into kind of getting your take on this. So to me, I get very excited about fitness tech and one of the big reasons that I do think dovetails into a little bit of what you were saying is that from my perspective, one of the things that we forget in health and fitness is we treat everyone the same. So there's a couple things that I look at here number one, the metabolism is speaking to us all the time and it is giving us biofeedback sensations like the way we sleep, our hunger, our energy, our cravings, exercise performance, exercise, recovery, you know, libido, menses, erections, digestive function, signs and symptoms, headaches, joint pains, things like that. All of this is stuff that we feel and it's relatively subjective, right? And so for me, I'm always excited about are there tools and technologies obviously as a clinician I take blood pressures, I take respiration rates, I look at blood labs. So I'm looking at biomarkers in the body. And I'm also using tech, a lot of time to do treatments. And so I am very excited about this idea of can we take some of this objective data, to help us understand more of what our metabolism is saying, and more specifically, how to individualize things, because we are all a little bit different. So I am really interested in understanding how to use tech to get more specific about how our bodies are responding to things. And so I know fit insider, is something that I was excited about when a mutual friend of ours, Chase Chewning told me about you, I was like, Well, this is really cool, because this is going to be someone who sort of understands this tech at a different level in terms of what is coming on the market. So I guess the first thing I would say is, how do you feel when I when you hear me say something like that, like, you know, we can get subjective data. But we also can get a lot of objective data and the tech might help us there. Is that how you see it, as well? Or how do you frame sort of this whole tech side of things? And why it might be important for people interested in health and fitness?
Joe: [06:16] Yeah, for sure. I think that's a good framing. And for me, it's somewhat of a contradiction, right. And because it's some level doing the right things, quote, unquote, right, you know, moving more eating the right foods, sleeping, prioritizing your mental health, just focusing on your overall well being, a lot of those things are free, you know, you get to bed on time you eat the right foods, although you have to buy them like that's a discipline thing, doing bodyweight exercises, walking more being physically active. Doing those things, in theory isn't all that difficult, yet, the majority of people obviously struggle with and when you look at, you know, heart disease, obesity, diabetes, the rate of sedentary lifestyles, so there's a conflict there. And I think part of what the health and fitness industry does is they try to provide turnkey and foolproof solutions, right. And so that's where you see a lot of the apps, a lot of the different pieces of equipment, a lot of the technology moving in that direction. At the same time, what you get is complexity, right? They get more expensive, you need to have some level of understanding of how to use the technology, you collect all this data, what do we do with it? So at some points, I look at it and I say, we don't need this, you know, that if you formed healthy habits, you should, in turn get healthier over time. And that's a matter of consistency and discipline and willpower. But the other side of the spectrum, it's like, obviously, it's not working for the vast majority of people. So clearly, there's an opportunity to create solutions that help them, like you said, identify these biomarkers, these inputs that how we're reacting to things, hopefully, over time, even preventing these things from happening and the onset being kind of predictive and what's going on with our bodies. So I think, like with that framing, the end goal of all of this is, I think that it's important to say, let's not focus on where the technology is today. And the same way, if you think about where computers started are television, radio, smartwatches, you name it, we are somewhere in the progression between wearing an aura ring or sleeping on an Eight Sleep mattress. And fast forward however many years it is where all of these things, whether it's ambient sensors, or you know more powerful technology in terms of what's packed into a smartwatch or ring. It's all happening in real time. And the outputs we're getting in terms of data, the information, it's all seamless in terms of what to do with it, how to respond to it, what you can do with a coach, what your doctors receiving. So I think we're just early on in that evolution.
Jade: [08:50] Yeah, like that thought process. You know, what it comes up for me too, is that how do you know that you might need this kind of stuff? Like I tell the people who watch and listen to me, I get questions all the time. They're like, Jade, I see you're wearing an aura ring. I heard you talk about the, you know, the continuous glucose monitor, or do I really need, you know, an Eight Sleep mattress, you know that for those who don't know, I've done a podcast on that as well with a CEO of a sleep. It's just a biotech mattress that keeps you cool at night, adjust temperature and also measure certain biometrics. But the idea is there are so many things coming for example, I have I won't mention the name of this particular product because I'm you know, I'm not hating on it. But I'm also like, don't love it, but there's a particular product where people will send me and you can breathe gases into it, it measures co2 and co2 levels, and can kind of tell you based on that, you know, if you're burning more carbohydrate or fat, there's not much we can do with that data once we get that from my perspective, and it's still not dealing with the calorie, the ultimate calorie levels that you might be taking in and so the point I'm making here is that there's this idea of like, okay, so we have some of the text Some of it may not be useful. And then some of it may be useful, but might not be a appropriate for that particular individual, as you mentioned, due to certain price points, or perhaps just not something that, you know is useful for them, like not everyone is going to want to wear or need to wear a continuous glucose monitor, but someone who is confused about why they might be having excess hunger or cravings or unpredictable energy levels, or unpredictable workout, recovery and performance might benefit from some of these things. So I guess the question I have for you if you have an opinion on this, and one of the things that Joe shared with me, too, is that he's a kind of a tech geek in a sense, but he's not a scientist with these things as well. So as I asked him questions, I'm going to be asking more about the opinion of someone who is looking at this stuff, and all the new stuff, and all the old stuff, and seeing stuff that all of us may not know is coming or may not necessarily appreciate. So when you think about this idea of you know, certain tech that maybe cool tech, but doesn't really do much for anybody versus other stuff that might be appropriate for some people. Do you have any sense now of what might be the most valuable pieces of tech for the most people? Or do you see this as completely individualized? I'm just curious if you have an opinion, where you're like talking to friends and family like this is something that everyone could or should probably get whereas this other thing here is probably a nice to have. And this other thing over here is sort of useless. So I'm just curious what your thought process is on all the stuff that's coming, because I would imagine more and more stuff is coming.
Joe: [11:41] Yeah, it's a question I get a lot both from you know, even someone, my mom, right will see an ad whatever on Instagram or on the television be like, hey, I want to get XYZ thing whether it's a piece of connected fitness tech, you know, like a hydro rower. She's like, Oh, should I get a rower? Like, why would you? Why would you want a rower? And she's like, I don't know, like, it looks fantastic. It looks really fun. You know, whatever it is. And same thing she's more recently got into, she wears a Fitbit and just like to track your steps. And does that help her in terms of her overall health goals? And has it inspired her to get moving? And, you know, she takes screenshots and sends us the, you know, her steps in the day? Yeah, it works for her, and it inspires her to get moving. So I think it's a much more individualized kind of approach. I oftentimes start by asking people like, what is your goal? What are you hoping to do? What are you doing now what isn't working. And some of those on ramps can be as simple as, you know, an analog, you know, these, you know, those these things like an analog food journal, or just, you know, writing it down and sending it to dietician, nutritionist or even a friend to keep you accountable. Whereas on the other side of that, you mentioned, things like the glucose monitor, using that and seeing for some people seeing the spikes, right, being able to be like, Oh, I thought this, whatever bowl of oatmeal, or I thought, sushi, whatever was healthy. And they see that their glucose is going off the chart there, they have that realization. So I think I think it is individualized, I think it's on a case by case basis. And I wouldn't say I have seen anything that across the board is like you should use this. And I'm very much like you. Fortunately, folks send stuff all the time. And I get to try a bunch of different things and have you know, you name it, I've pretty much tried it. I don't use anything. I don't use any device. I don't use any wearable, I don't track anything on a consistent basis. Because it was making me like neurotic I was already obsessing about these things way too much. So for my goals, it was actually making it worse for me. So yeah, I think in terms of if you kind of fast forward, where the broader industry hopes to get is like, these things are super intuitive. They're widely accessible. And we are able to we don't have to interpret the data. It's interpreted for us, and it's made into actionable and personalized kind of outcomes. Whereas now, again, you know, this, you use the devices and you've been mentioned, you know, the one which I think I know which one you're the product you don't like so much. It's like what do I do with that information? It's not, you know, entirely clear so, well, why would I continue to pay for it? And how do I know I'm improving on the other side of that?
Jade: [17:06] And now back to the show. The way I look at this is, you know, let's go just very simple, right? Like you talked about a food journal literally something that you open up and write stuff in, or, you know, perhaps more tech oriented, but still old school a scale. And so from my perspective, it's like, okay, if you're somebody who steps on a scale, and see that scale go up or down, does it give you information? Or does it have an emotional response in you that is good or bad. So for example, if you tell me, look, I got a scale, but anytime I step on it, if it goes up, then I feel defeated, I'm less motivated. It doesn't make me go to the gym and work harder. It makes me crave Ben and Jerry's and eat a bunch of pasta. And this is how the personal preferences right and up in the psychology of people come into this. So when I talk about the individual nature of metabolism, I say, Well, we're each individually, in our, we're individuals in our physiology and our psychology, in our personal preferences and in our practical circumstances. And I think in the tech world that perhaps the psychology aspect, which you alluded to, is a big one, because what is this doing to you, if it is B, if it's making you neurotic, then that's just another form of stress toxicity, you know, the metabolism is really just one big stress barometer, and it is responding to that stress. So if it's stressful for you, and making you neurotic, perhaps that's not a good thing. If the emotional response to stepping on a scale that is up a little bit causes you to eat more and worse as a result of that, which many people do. Now, there's certainly subtypes of people who go, Oh my God, that's gonna motivate me that motivates me to eat less and better and get to the gym. But we all know people who are defeated by certain things, and people who are motivated by certain things. So when I'm talking to people similar to you, these are the things I'm asking them, like, what do you need now, obviously, I do believe we should be measuring and tracking things. If you're not getting results, if you've never learned what a protein is versus a carb, then you probably want to be paying attention to that. So then a piece of tech like the My Fitness Pal app might be a really good piece of information for you. However, if you're getting, you know, getting on a scale, and it is stressing you out and making you do worse things later, perhaps you need to move to something else like circumference measurements, or, you know, body fat percent or some other measure. So I agree there are the psychological aspects of us. There are these personal preference aspects of us. And then there's also these practical circumstances which come down to money and things like that. But for me, I oftentimes tell people very much the same thing. They're like, what do I need? I'm like, well, you need to understand the food you're putting into your body. So at some way, shape and form if you're not getting results, many people don't need to do this, by the way, they're probably going to need to track food in some way. And the apps are, you know, really good for that. You also probably want to be looking at risk. Results in terms of body change, if you're looking at weight loss, and we know from the National Weight Control Registry, these are two things that people do consistently who lose the weight and keep it off for good. If we're talking strictly weight loss, you know, we were not always talking about that. But those would be the two things, I would say. The only really two things I would say, are necessary for the vast majority of people and to your point, not everybody. But then it starts getting into all these other things. For example, if you're someone who's very stressed out and don't know how your stress is impacting you, then perhaps you want to get something that can measure your heart rate variability, we now have the ability to see in real time how things are going in terms of your recovery and your readiness. And many apps and devices have those scores, they are too, to include those. And so it really is sort of this thing where I'm like, well, what are you really after? And what is going to make you do better, versus what might make you do worse. So it's interesting to me to hear a tech guy like you doesn't use any of this stuff. So I want to, if that brings up any thoughts for you? And I have some other things I want to cover if not, but just I just want to see what you what your thoughts are about that approach for people.
Joe: [21:08] It's, yeah, it's 100%true and accurate. And I think that's where it's almost like, there needs to be some type of on ramp. You know, we're where we say that the industry is introducing complexity, it's, it's way easier to make money selling a lot of these devices than it is to make an impact or make a difference, you know, how many people are continuing to use them over a period of time? And what are those results, like, there's not a ton of evidence that it actually works, or that the outcomes are any better. So people are selling a lot of devices, but they aren't necessarily to the point where they are having that wide impact. And the pessimistic view is like, well, they're just kind of cashing in on this trend. And they know that, and they're taking advantage of people. But the optimistic view is like, they're just trying to figure it out. Also, they know they have not arrived at a point where it's like, completely turnkey. And magically, people are healthy. But I think if we look at the just evolution of technology more broadly, it will get closer to that point. So I think that's just kind of one piece of it. And the next piece is an interesting trend that's starting to emerge is using this technology and the tracking and all of the devices, as almost, you know, we kind of say like activity tracking, is evolving into health monitoring is evolving into medical devices. So actually getting to the point where it is FDA approved, there have been clinical studies, these things actually work, right, because all of these devices now that we use on a consumer level, they're just wellness devices, quote unquote, wellness devices, they have not passed any rigorous study other than, you know, maybe trials that the companies themselves have funded and studied. So it has not proven out. But what has started to emerge in this is kind of what you were talking about, when it's like maybe working with somebody having a coach or a doctor or any type of kind of professional look at this information. It's called human in the loop. So you're taking this technology, and instead of me using it by myself off of my own little world and trying to figure it out, they pair that maybe it's a glucose monitor, maybe it's an aura, ring a whoop. With an actual coach who you can text any time who you can have check ins with who reviews the information and dissects it for you, they tell you what to do based on what they're seeing that being like a huge step forward. Whereas before it was, you know, maybe I have a personal trainer that I pay hundreds of dollars per session for that probably still isn't addressing nutrition with me mental health, sleep, you know, all those other aspects. Whereas now I can have a device who's tracking all this stuff in real time capturing it, and then somebody or a group of people, right, whether it's a fitness professional, a doctor, a nutritionist, a coach, all going over this information, then telling me what to do based on that. So that being a huge step forward and an interesting trend. And just maybe throw back to you there before going further down that path.
Jade: [24:14] Yeah, and actually, you and I haven't talked about this because obviously the first time we're talking and meeting but my company metabolic.com. With my business partners, what we have been building is exactly what you're talking about. So we have a system that essentially says look, we have we're going to teach you, if you want to do this yourself, I'm going to teach you how to subjectively understand your metabolism. And we're gonna give you the tools to do that. We have a coaching program, an individualized coaching program, that is four tier kind of imagine noon times for with, you know, with a free version, then all the way up that allows you to text in and you know, talk to a coach, even at the free level. We have an individualized nutrition sort of approach and we have our workout system. We start with and this is just kind of helping some people understand a little bit about what I think you were talking about how we started in all of this is helping people understand how to do certain things that are going to be the big movers. And then understanding how those things impact with your physiology, your psychology, your personal preferences, and your practical circumstances and moving people along from the standpoint of like, oh, I can do this by myself versus I need a little bit of help from an app and a little bit of nudges here and there just from an app versus no, I prefer, you know, a human in the loop, as you talked about. And so our company has looked is looking at all of those, and actually being able to integrate all that data. So one of the things that we're trying to do is we're trying to say, look, we know you have this subjective biofeedback, we also know you've got how your weight is changing, and those things your vitals and your blood labs, but then we also know based on the individual that they're going to be coming in with certain tech. And so we're including in our system, the ability to grab that tech, share it with our professionals that work with us, but also make sense of the disparate data out there from many different types of technology into this system. So regardless of what you're using, we can grab some of that data. And some of the things that are important to us are things like HRV, blood sugar certainly is important. The what you're, what you're eating, and how it's impacting your blood sugar asleep is a really big one, which there's all kinds of there, they seem to be some of the most popular tech, but there's all kinds of issues around whether they're giving us good data or not. But at least our company is doing exactly what you're talking about here. We're essentially using the tech and deciphering the tech for people at different levels, whether they're wanting to do it themselves, whether they just need some support in an app, and or whether they need a human in the mix. And then we're also trying to gamify this so that people can build in, you know, the habits around the tech that the tech itself may not have. So that's part of how we're beginning to integrate this stuff. And I'm, I'm curious, based on that approach just from you're not going to hurt my feelings if you disagree with this approach. But do you see many people and many companies beginning to do this? Do you see this as a potential good sign and good trend? And do you and what do you see as the downside to incorporating so much tech? Is there anything that you can say positively or negatively in regards to these approaches that we're using and other companies I know we're beginning to use?
Joe: [27:37] Yeah, I think it's huge. And I think that you're starting to see it at the kind of biggest jump going directly to doctors, right. So Apple introduced a feature last year where you can share your healthcare data with, you know, your family member or medical professional. And even that is like a step between like integrating this information so that it can be actionable, we can, you know, move to a preventative health care model versus a sick care model. But as it relates to kind of like every different aspect of health, there are folks doing this down the path of fitness. So future is a remote personal training company. We're an investor in them. And something like that, where I talked about this, in a podcast with their CEO, my fiancé, who's not, wasn't an athlete, never huge into exercise beyond like, you know, going to the gym, getting on the elliptical, et cetera. She's been working out for almost 18 months, consistently three days a week has not missed a workout in 18 months, because of this remote coach that she has. And she texts him and they you review the Apple Watch data and they make personalized workout plans. And there are people doing this and nutrition and mental health and down the path. All very much, you know, like telemedicine and the devices and the apps are enabling that remote aspect of it to keep people accountable, which is if you're solving for accountability, or willpower, which is where most people typically fail, you're taking a huge step down the path of improving that adherence to the behavior change, like over time, right? That's the outcome that people want to see.
Joe: [34:16] I think the things that are as you go further down that path and kind of zoom out. One of the issues is, you know, a lot of the different services and a lot of the different devices are very siloed. So you might have your sleep tracker, you might have something else you use for nutrition. You have another thing subscription membership piece of equipment that you use for fitness, you know, you still make your own meals and have to figure that out on your own. So the ability to have some integrated end to end right, either platform or expert coach, I think is something that we'll see start to become more important, more evident. There'll be more companies kind of pursuing that in like a turnkey fashion versus sending somebody out there and then having to figure it out across all these different aspects of health and wellness. And then the other thing is, like, we're just beginning to understand, you know, can we measure blood glucose without a needle, you know, without a poking somebody in the skin and do it over the top of with just a patch, or do it measuring sweat, or do it measuring whatever the other, you know, input is, all those things are moving to the forefront in terms of like I said, patches, but even as far as like tattoos, where they're just putting almost like a sticker on you that can decipher this information. So as we start to understand cortisol levels, blood alcohol, levels of, you know, doing blood testing, without having to go to the lab, like all of those things are getting us to the point where we can make meaningful interpretations of this information, be preventative about it, and then be very personalized. And that prescription that you're talking about, right? Where it's like, hey, these are the things that you need to do based on all the information that we're seeing. And it's not incumbent upon you, the individual to figure that all out.
Jade: [36:10] Yeah, that's what that's what we're doing trying to do it metabolic. We are essentially, and that company for those because people been waiting for this for a while we follow this podcast, we still have not launched but we well, we actually did just launch our you know, sort of footprint in online and as our app, but what we are trying to do is exactly what you're talking about, we're trying to integrate all this data. So it's a one stop shop and a framework for understanding metabolism, rather than being in all these sorts of other places. One of the things that I am most excited about, because I've heard that Apple is perhaps working on actually, I thought it's coming soon, but it wasn't this, this Apple Watch, they have the ability are working on the ability to measure blood sugar, non invasively. And so I'm super excited about that kind of technology and my understanding of that technology is that we if we figure this out, using essentially lights lasers that are essentially, you know, looking at absorption and reflection of certain things traveling through the blood, that if we can do that we're not only going to be able to get glucose, we're going to be able to get things like cholesterol, triglycerides and all these other analytes. Are you seeing that that is close? Is that something that is, you know, in the future for us tech wise, or is that something that you feel like the technology is just not going to be there anytime soon?
Joe: [37:28] it's a little bit further off. So Apple has kind of said, of course, Apple being the massive company that they are and incredible with marketing and brand. It's very much at the forefront. So folks often hear like, you know, they're working on this, and it was supposed to be in the most recent watch operating system that was released. It wasn't they hit a bunch of snags in terms of development. The other feature that they're working on is the blood pressure monitoring. So the ability to do that obviously, heart disease being a massive issue alongside diabetes and basically, they're saying it's not ready for primetime, and it's definitely not ready to be at the level where it could get FDA approval. So as it's starting to develop, you're also starting to see kind of the biggest companies, a duopoly, if you will, in the space of like, continuous glucose monitoring Dexcom Abbott, are developing and investing in these technologies to do more non invasive glucose monitoring and both of them interestingly, moving beyond, they've typically been like a diabetic focused, so medical device company, getting into consumer, by wearables. So targeting how do we work with people? Who are athletes? How do we work with people in the military? What do these biomarkers really mean from the perspective of we understand what it means if you're already unwell? Or if you have a disease, right, and what to do about it. But there's also this idea. If we catered to people at kind of the pinnacle of performance, military athletes, etc, then we can reverse engineer or almost trickle down health, like how this impacts people on like an everyday basis. So things in terms of development, there's a ton of interesting things happening. And the kind of most exciting piece, if you will, is like there's just a ton of people focusing on it. There's a ton of people talking about it in a way that even two years ago, nobody beyond somebody who was diabetic was talking about wearing a continuous glucose monitor Yeah. To now it's like, oh, could we do that? There's a company called known labs. And they're working on a scanning technology. They read like radio waves that you're from your body. So they scan it over your poem, and they get all the readings that we're talking about glucose, cholesterol, triglycerides, et cetera. And the former head of kind of partnerships at aura ring left and is now working at known labs. So it's like they're pursuing FDA approval.
Jade: [40:01] So it's like exploding in other words.
Joe: [40:03] yeah, all these things, it's like, it's a matter of time before we make that meaningful progress to like we, we know that it works. More importantly, we know what to do with the information once we have it. And then it gets introduced into both the consumer and clinical setting in a way that like, we can start hopefully see meaningful outcomes.
Jade: [40:24] Yeah, let's do this to wrap up, you don't mind? Or you may just you want to, you may balk at some of these, because you may just be like, I'd rather not say or, or I don't know. But one of the things I think might be helpful for the listeners is, if we just go through different categories and see if you can kind of say, Yeah, I know if something is coming, or I really like this word. So I'll just kind of go through a few and see if you have any thoughts on it. So I know that in the world of resistance training, we're now getting machines that you basically have a one big footprint, you know, mainly pulleys that are doing things like you know, you can get up to 2000 pounds on that thing. And what do you think? Are you aware of any really cool things that you're just like, oh, this is really cool in the in the realm of workout equipment that is here, or that is coming that you might just say, Yeah, Jade, this is something you might want to check out.
Joe: [41:17] Yeah, so I'll start that as I usually do by saying, I have a full blown a garage gym that is turned into a full basement gym. So I have the bumper plates, the kettlebells, the you know, concept to rower and all the things you would think of from like a kind of meathead garage gym. So again, I don't use much of the high tech stuff. That being said, strength training is an area where there's been incredible kind of innovation more recently. And full disclosure, we're an investor in a company, it's called arena that is a small platform. It weighs you know, call it around 50 pounds, but it does exactly what you said it can generate hundreds of pounds of force. So I have one of those. And it's really incredible to be able to throw that in the back of the truck and you take an entire gym literally anywhere. My brother has one and it's he lives in an apartment and to have a full gym and an apartment in a 50 pound 60 pound device is pretty insane. So that's been huge. But then you also have ones that are targeted targeting the commercial sector. So a company called Oxford based out of Dallas, they have a it's a much larger machine. It looks like a traditional smith machine. But it's all high tech. So it has ForcePlates on the bottom, the ability for you to sign in and put your workout in it automatically adjust the weights and does everything for you. And they're in like, you know, professional sports teams football teams have them and physical therapy centers have them as well and they have like an at home one as well. So that's another good example. And then one that I don't even think they released the product yet. It might be in like a closed beta. It's called Tabata. TABATA it's smart dumbbells. So it's like that selectorized dumbbell that you've seen, but tracks the reps tells you what weight you should use monitors everything that you're doing designs, the workout for you. So on and so forth was like, same idea. Lots of people could buy a set of dumbbells, but what the heck am I supposed to do with it? Yeah, do I know what I'm doing? And am I is there any progressive overload over time? Am I improving? So super interesting and that's just like on the straight training front.
Jade: [43:29] Okay, so arena, Tabata are things that we all might want to check out, how about in the arena of measuring body composition? I know we have certain things that, you know, they use lasers to look at subcutaneous fat around the belly, or we have, you know, smart tape measures, or we have devices that I've seen that can take pictures, do your measurements, extrapolate, you know, a body fat percent from that anything in that arena where we're measuring body composition, or, you know, measuring that kind of stuff that you think is cool or useful, or are we just not there yet?
Joe: [44:05] Probably the closest one. It's a French device maker called Withings. And they started with a watch. And now they've evolved their most recent product is a scale. And so you stand on the scale, not only does it do your weight, but it also does like your heart rate. It does like an EKG, and it also does body composition. So it'll tell you basically all that send it directly to the app. And they're building like an ecosystem, right? So it's the scale the watch, they have a mat that you use in bed, and also a blood pressure cuff that you can do readings with, and it feeds all that back into the app and obviously kind of puts it all together for you. So and they have on a lot of their devices FDA approval or pending FDA approval. So it's a consumer facing company, but definitely going down that path of like, legit medical validation.
Jade: [44:59] Yeah. A couple years back, I got a product called naked. I don't know if you've heard this, but it's basically scale, you sit on smart mirror to basically shoot lasers at you spins you around, does all your measurements and then extrapolates body fat percent off that it worked for about a year broke down, then it's been hell working with them. I did like that machine just cuz it was an easy thing. But it just goes into how tough some of these bigger things are to get customer support on. How about in the, you know, you talked a little bit about this, but how about in step trackers and just things like that, that integrate, you know, movement patterns and or at least movement activity, anything that you love there? I mean, I know Fitbit is a huge player I know, or has that, you know, most of these things, you know, your phone even has a step counter. But is there anything that you just love that you're like, Well, this is these are, you know, cool products in that area in terms of step counting and that kind of stuff?
Joe: [45:52] Yeah, I think there's, it's not directly step tracking, but even the idea of like what comes after just using an accelerometer or the GPS to track your activity. And so you have something like Strava, right, which a lot of people use, it's very popular with like cyclists and runners, but then moving more into like hiking and trail sports and just like getting people outside in general. So using these things to track activity, getting more social with how they're sharing that data. And then we invested in a company called any distance, it started out as like a run and walking kind of tracker. But now it's evolved into a kind of like, web three, very, like gamified version of Strava. So different challenges within the app, sharing that information, socially collecting badges, companies doing like product drops, like let's say, a Lululemon or athletic greens, doing a product drop within that. And if you've completed certain tasks or activity metrics, you can get that. So I think those are super cool. There's not a ton right in terms of making those things beyond collecting the information. And you sharing it with your friend like, well, how do you do competitions? How do you do sharing that data? How do you meet new people potentially, or find out about events or meetups, so all that type of stuff? And then I also think it's interesting, when you get beyond the phone or wrist wearable, like smart insoles. There's a company called plantiga that's kind of developing down that path. Like gait monitoring, do you have imbalances? How's your posture? How's your force output in production? A lot of things that are way more interesting, right? If you're like a runner or a triathlete, but certainly has potential for elderly populations that are like a fall risk or are starting to lose, like balance and those sorts of things. So I think there'll be a lot down that path as well.
Jade: [47:48] I've also heard, I've also heard that, you know, there's gonna be smart clothing coming along as there actually is that has biometrics in the clothing and things like that. And so, it's really neat, what's sort of going on there. How about things like, you know, the performance, you know, like, I would consider things like whoop, our ring, things like that more and like sort of the performance biohacking, you know, rest recovery type of stuff, anything there that you, you know, you love that is sort of integrating lots of data to tell you how you're performing how you're sleeping, how you're recovering, that you love are the ones I mentioned, sort of the ones that you like, as well.
Joe: [48:25] Yeah, those are definitely the mainstream, if you will, and the ones that are kind of at the forefront. I'm trying to think just in terms of beyond those basic metrics, I think, kind of two things that we're starting to see, obviously, glucose monitoring being one of them used in the performance setting, specifically a company called Super sapiens. They're primarily in Europe right now, but their glucose monitor, but targeting endurance athletes.
Jade: [48:56] definitely have to have their glucose dialed in
Joe: [49:00] for sure. So they have a partnership with Ironman, right, and a lot of those athletes are using it. But they also developed a wrist worn kind of component of the glucose monitor that displays your glucose and tells you when you should be feeling based on your performance levels. So to your point around that, like, that's pretty compelling. Right. And it, it has, it's definitely for a specific audience. It's not for everyone. But the application is like, yeah, you cannot the term hitting the wall in terms of like training or competition literally means when you're at a glucose, you cannot go any further. So this telling you about that is huge.
Jade: [49:38] Yeah, it would be it would be really interesting. I'm really interested in when they finally get both for diabetics and my population but even for athletes, and looking at glucose and ketone correlations, beta hydroxybutyrate and glucose because obviously they move in different directions, right. So I guess if you have ketones up here, and you have low blood sugar, that's a different story than if you have low ketones and low blood sugar, you know, and so it there's a lot of cool things sort of going on. There's one more thing I wanted to ask you, but it went out of my mind, let me see what is in relation to cover, we covered workout stuff and cover trackers we covered Oh, mattresses and things like that. So I do I do sleep on an eight sleep, people heard me talk about aid sleep, I do have an affiliate link somewhere for aid, sleep, and anything else, you know, chill pads, and another one anything else in that arena with sleep, you know, high tech mattresses or devices that are measuring sleep, one of the things that I have always wondered about, and I've talked to several, you know, because in my field, and I'm sure with you, too, you get to talk to lots of different experts and lots of colleagues. And there's a whole argument about like, you know, you can't measure the stages of sleep directly through these devices. They're only correlating based on temperature, respiration, movement patterns, that kind of thing. But they're saying, you know, some people are saying they're within 80%. Other people are saying they're not even close. So it's kind of all over the place, you know, in terms of who you talk to, and how tight they are. But just curious any thoughts you have in that arena? Because I know, at least that's one thing that most people are interested in to sleep, you know, sleep devices to help you sleep better or to measure sleep, you know, and to deal with all that kind of stuff.
Joe: [51:15] Yeah, unfortunately, there's not a good answer, right, both on the research and on the efficacy of a lot of the devices. I also you mentioned talking to Matteo the CEO of aid sleep, I know him decently well and about him on the podcast a couple of times. And I think, again, back to the optimistic view, the pessimistic view being we're just all wasting our time and money trying to trying to do this stuff. The optimistic view being like, okay, we're definitely making progress. And even like adjusting the temperature and all those things is helping, they have talked about both the ability to potentially compress sleep, right, that we get it down in from a technology standpoint so much that they help you fall asleep faster, they get you to deep sleep faster, and you stay there longer. And the quality of sleep is so much better those six hours asleep, that eight hours asleep, rather, you know, you can get that in six hours. So can you compress sleep, that's super far off. And even they will admit that but even thinking like oh, that's a possibility is pretty insane. And also the idea that like we spend so whatever that stat is like a huge percentage of our life sleeping. Well, what if it can do other things while you're sleeping? Like perform some type of diagnostic test, do a scan of your body, measure whatever, blood heart rate, other biometrics to maybe diagnose a disease or just signal that something is wrong. And the same way that we're starting to see wearables do now like, Oh, hey, you have a fever, like you're getting sick. Like all those things packed into like a legit medical bed. Like, it's not far off in terms of just if you think about how quickly things from an innovation standpoint, accelerate, so nothing to report as of yet. I'm also skeptical. It sounds like as you are, but exciting to think about the potential.
Jade: [53:11] Yeah, I appreciate you. So let's, why don't we end just by anything that you feel like, the listeners should be paying attention to things that you feel like that are exciting to you that you feel like these are the things I'm paying attention to. And you know, just what we should be keeping in mind or any other thoughts you have?
Joe: [53:27] I think the biggest thing for me, and I don't know if it's directly relevant to the listeners, but I think it could impact them right is, so much of the conversation that we've talked about today and again, is a contradiction. But a lot of this is the fit, get fitter. A lot of these products are for people who are already healthy or maybe have disposable income or already have are inclined to be investing in their health and wellness. So when you look at all the opportunities, whether it's from accessibility, or from a price point, or from an ease of use, or even things like gamification and virtual reality, or whatever it is, if we can continue to come up with ways that appeal to more people beyond the audience that's already going to be spending money on these things. That's the thing that I get most fired up about. And, you know, that's what we try to cover and look at for it fit Insider. So that's the thing that yeah, I get excited about every day.
Jade: [54:21] Yeah, you know, man, I'm so glad you brought that up. Because one of the things that I feel like has happened in the health and fitness world is that you basically see that you wondering, well, why aren't people making progress and all the stats? And it is I feel like because so many of us who are interested in fitness are only caring about talking about and most of its unconscious. We're certainly not doing this on purpose, but we're also dealing with our tribe and talking to amongst each other. And thinking that everyone's on board instead of going out and be like what do we do for people who are not interested in any of this stuff? Who need it perhaps even more than we do, and how can we deal with them in metabolic.com my company is trying to do that as well. So it's really interesting to you and I think are on a lot on the same wavelength there. I do think that health and fitness industry, unfortunately for a lot of us are just talking back and forth. You know, and I have heard, you know, people talk about the idea of health is another one of these isms that goes along with sexism and racism and all the ills whereas if I'm healthy, then I'm better. I'm a better human than you, you know. So this kind of stuff is a whole other issue that is sort of going on. And I certainly like you want to see ways that this tech can really help, you know, people who are not necessarily into health and fitness in the first place. So I'm really glad you know that you said that. And I think that helps frame things for all of us where it's like, okay, for all of you listening, who are biohackers, and in the space that Joe and I are in, that's great, right? And definitely look for that kind of stuff but also keeping in mind that not everybody is going to have use of this or can use this stuff. And we should be thinking about collectively as a society, which of these pieces of tech and maybe guessing on which of these pieces are going to be the most useful for most people. So Joe, tell us where I know fit insider, right? You guys are on Instagram, but tell us where people can find you. In particular, if you're you know, and also how to get involved with fit Insider. One of the things I like about you, as I've been looking at FIT insider is if you're into this kind of conversation that Joe's educating us on Fit insider is constantly showing different tech that's coming and reporting on that that. So where can they get more of you and more a fit Insider?
Joe: [56:39] Yeah, just check it out. It's all free. It's insider.fit.co newsletter podcast, a bunch of different news articles resources, and we're super accessible through there. So yeah, hit us up.
Jade: [56:51] Joe, thank you, my friend. I really appreciate you coming on and educating all of us. It was wonderful to meet you, my man.