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Trainer Talks: For Rumble Co-Founder Noah Neiman, Fitness Is a ‘Lifeline’

Trainer Talks: For Rumble Co-Founder Noah Neiman, Fitness Is a ‘Lifeline’

From disruptive kid to fitness disruptor, Noah Neiman inspires movement through authenticity and discipline

In the crowded world of fitness, Noah Neiman stands out for his blend of pioneering spirit and a deeply empathetic approach. Co-founder of Rumble, a boxing-inspired fitness empire, and partner in Honeybrains, a health-focused restaurant, Neiman is more than just a fitness entrepreneur; his maverick energy is helping to reshape personal training and wellness.

His journey from grappling with ADHD and Oppositional Defiant Disorder in his youth to becoming a fitness beacon is not just inspiring, but also a testament to the transformative power of physical discipline and mental resilience.

Neiman believes in the power of fitness to change lives, as it did his.

Athletech News spoke to Neiman about his unique leadership style, marked by empathy, listening and empowering others, to find out how he channels his abundance of energy into building businesses and helping others find the joy of movement.

This conversation has been lightly edited for clarity and length.

ATN: You’ve overcome significant personal challenges. Can you share more about how these experiences have shaped your approach to personal training and fitness?

Noah Neiman: They say the best businesses are born from passion, and for me, fitness has always been my lifeline at every crucial moment. As a kid, I often found myself being kicked out of classes due to my boundless, unfocused energy. Early on, I discovered strength training. I learned, fortunately at around 12 or 13, that taking care of my physical body helped me manage my emotional and mental well-being. I was still a troublemaking kid, but without boxing, strength training, jujitsu, football, and other organized sports to give me focus, I believe my life could have taken a much darker turn.

Throughout my life, whenever I felt out of control, whether due to a job I hated or personal issues like anxiety or depression, I turned to training. I knew I couldn’t simply force myself out of those feelings, even the strongest minds struggle with that, but I could immerse myself in physical activity. Putting on gloves to hit a heavy bag, sparring, doing sprints – it was all a way to divert my mind from troubles and focus on something constructive.

Fast forward 20 years, after various twists and turns in my life, I found myself jobless and directionless, but once again, fitness saved me. I stumbled into a fitness studio, got a job offer on the spot, and after five years, I met my partner Eugene Remm. Together, we started Rumble, which has 67 open studios internationally.

Rumble was born out of a desire to bring something authentic to the fitness space, influenced by my unique experiences and training methods.

credit: Noah Neiman

ATN: As someone who has been involved in various fitness ventures, what innovations do you think are most necessary in the personal training industry today?

NN:  My approach to innovation, regardless of the venture, is to strip things back to the essentials. Whether it’s Honeybrains, the restaurant I’m partnered with, or Rumble, the focus is always on providing an experience that makes people healthier, stronger and better. It’s not about spending your whole day at these establishments, but about getting a dose of positivity and then taking that energy into your own world.

Take Honeybrains, for instance. The menu, developed by two doctors, is designed to promote healthy cognitive function with nutrient-rich foods, catering to various dietary needs. This focus on well-being is what I want people to associate with any project I’m involved in. That, to me, is the core of innovation.

In terms of technological advancements, like stat trackers and class trackers, these are certainly innovative. However, in a world where entrepreneurial manipulation is rampant, being genuine and focused on truly improving people’s lives is an innovation in itself. It’s about asking, “Is what I’m bringing to this world going to positively impact people’s lives?” and “How does it solve a problem for my customers?”

ATN: What key leadership qualities do you prioritize in your training approach?

NN: The first key quality is listening. Most people think leaders are just about commanding their team, but that approach has never worked for me. True leadership is about understanding and empowering your team. You can’t do that if you’re isolated in a boardroom. Another important quality is confidence. My father taught me that people might not remember what you say, but they will remember how you say it. When I lead a meeting or even a Zoom call, I bring energy and passion because I believe in the impact of what we’re doing.

Leaders need to empower their teams, remembering that it’s not about them. Being a great entrepreneur can sometimes be a hindrance if you’re too stubborn or self-focused. I’ve learned that you need to give your team an authentic voice and create a community that supports and promotes your vision. This is how you maintain brand consistency and stand out. I didn’t create Rumble alone; it was the effort of many people.

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ATN: What key trends do you foresee in the personal training industry?

NN: I hope to see a widespread adoption of more people simply moving their bodies and getting involved in various fitness activities. Companies like Xponential Fitness, for instance, offer a range of modalities, from boxing to rowing to dancing, making fitness more accessible and diverse. The key is making it financially digestible, especially considering the current economic strains.

(Another) trend I see, and hope to foster, is a genuine concern for societal health. We are facing a situation where physical inactivity, obesity and poor diet are prevalent. Through my ventures, I aim to offer solutions to these problems, making healthy living more attainable and appealing.

credit: Noah Neiman

ATN: What advice do you have for personal trainers looking to succeed in the fitness industry today?

NN: Focus on the fundamentals. Don’t feel pressured to showcase your uniqueness with elaborate exercises. What matters is your ability to energize and motivate clients with consistency, even through basic routines. It’s about making fitness enjoyable and sustainable. Success in personal training and fitness trends hinges on empathy, understanding, and consistency. It’s about removing ego, listening to your clients, and providing workouts that are both effective and enjoyable. This approach will not only benefit the clients but also help trainers build a loyal and satisfied clientele.

In this era where everyone claims to be an expert, I’ve never dictated a single way to do things. My philosophy is about understanding the importance of movement, regardless of the form it takes. We often get paralyzed by what we think we should be doing, rather than just taking that first step.

As for technology in fitness, I love it. Devices that track your performance, like punch trackers, are fascinating. They’re great for accountability but aren’t essential. I’m intrigued by tech innovations like the AI-powered boxing bags that can analyze and improve your form. They’re novel and expensive, but they represent the kind of advancements I enjoy.

However, the industry often pushes these gadgets for profit, which I understand, but I’ve always aimed to balance business with genuinely serving the community. My mantra, inspired by Steve Jobs, is to focus on the product, not the profit. The fitness industry needs to apply this more, moving away from guilt-inducing gimmicks to genuinely helping people.

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