Sam Wood Reveals His Secret To Building A $71 Million Fitness Business

"I’ve done over 58,000 1:1 personal training appointments over a sixteen-year career."

Sam Wood, founder of 28 by Sam Wood, merged with genetics group myDNA in a $71 million deal. But it’s not his exercise science degree that he credits with his success, it’s the 58,000 one-on-one personal training appointments he’s done over a 16-year career, that showed him what people want and need to get themselves fit. Here, Sam Wood himself explains how he used what he learnt as a trainer to build his business 28 by Sam Wood.

I often get asked if my personal training background has helped my online 28 by Sam Wood program. I understand where the question comes from as people are curious as to whether or not the face-to-face element of training someone translates into the digital world, and the answer is yes. 28 by Sam Wood would not have succeeded without all of the years of experience training people.

After a quick calculation, I’ve done over 58,000 1:1 personal training appointments over a sixteen-year career. And while I went to university and got an exercise science degree, it was the hands-on experience of dealing with such a variety of clients that showed me what people want, and need, to help get themselves in shape and keep themselves in shape.

It’s interesting because I look at the personal training industry and it’s easy to see those who are successful and those who aren’t. The ones that aren’t successful typically don’t have a good work ethic and only care about their clients for the 30-45 minutes they are training them and tend to forget about them outside of that window. There is no level of care or accountability outside of that 1.5-2 hours a week. The great trainers care about what their clients are doing throughout the week – from a nutrition, recovery, and extra workout perspective, through to incidental exercise and mindset and motivation. If you can connect with people on a personal level you will have success.

If you put your mind in the right place your body will follow. This is the first thing I learnt as a personal trainer and have never forgotten. And if you can translate that across into a fitness app by being a personal trainer in someone’s pocket with constant reminders, support, motivation and education, that’s where you differentiate yourself, and it’s where the success and growth of 28 came from.

People very quickly worked out that there were great workouts, great eating plans and mindfulness content but it was the way that it was customized and tailored for their busy lives that helped. By being always available when they need it most through the 28 by Sam Wood app, it makes it so easy and effective to stay on track.

I absolutely think the reason for 28 by Sam Wood’s success was that people understood this was what I’d been doing for 16 years (now 23 years since the inception of 28) and it’s what I know and am passionate about – providing a place they can come to and trust.

To answer this question, it has shaped it in every single way – every part of the program is a consequence of all of these learnings across my career.

Words by Sam Wood.

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