If you've ever Googled workout classes in NY, chances are that minutes later your Instagram feed has become a minefield of sponsored fitness posts, for workout leggings, apps and classes. And while sometimes annoying, if that's the realm you're looking into right now, it's simply smart advertising from brands.
One such ad that pops up on occasion is for popular high-end boxing gym, Rumble, which began making waves in late 2016 as the boxing alternative to celebrity haunts like Barry's Bootcamp. Subsequent to the glowing online reviews and word of mouth, the gym has amassed a cult following amongst women, and for varying reasons. Primarily, the gym normalizes this full-body workout for all sexes, in a stylish way: the gyms come jam-packed with every product known to man (including the necessary spritz of dry shampoo), and are also a far cry from the grubby boxing gyms of Rocky or Million Dollar Baby.
If indeed, like us, you are in need of some motivation, the ton of lady-trainers on the programme are also there for some serious bod envy, and a quick look at the Rumble Instagram will show you how very ripped consistent boxing gets you. We spoke with one of the co-founders of the gym, Noah Neiman below about all-things Rumble, and why the ladies are so obsessed with it.
1. For someone who has never before heard of Rumble, can you explain what it is and why it's different in such a congested fitness market? What is its philosophy?
We never started Rumble to be different. So when asked what makes us unique; I talk about how we execute an incredible concept, incredibly well. When we were sitting in SoHo house for the very first Rumble concept meetings, we wanted to provide the most fun and curated experience we could provide with some pretty incredible resources in terms of team, talent, vision, and capital. We always discussed being authentic to our unique collection of personalities and visions from the lens of a customer. As discerning fitness aficionados; what did WE want to see? We knew that if we stayed true to that vision, we would inherently be unique. The four founders have an obsession with detail and in providing our customers with the most seamless and fun experience on the market. We found confidence in knowing the workout was going to be effective. We utilize the sweet science of boxing and strength training to provide an incredibly efficient workout. Couple that with the beautiful aesthetics, the cleanliness, the artwork that dons the walls, the low hue of the lights that dance on your skin while the club level sound system pumps inspiring beats straight to your bones!! The attention to making the experience incredibly easy, welcoming, fun, and addictive for the client is the foundation that makes Rumble great. What makes it truly special however, is the execution and constant elevation driven by all of the people of Rumble; our clients sand community.
2. What classes/programs/amenities are on offer and what are the most popular?
Outside the studio, Rumble looks more like a Soho art loft than a gym. We offer a beautifully designed studio chalk full of high end amenities. Spacious locker rooms with plenty of showers; DRYBAR blow drying stations and all the bathroom products a guy or gal needs to stay fresh before and after class!
In studio is where the magic really happens though. We offer 45 minute full body strength and conditioning experience throughout the day starting at 5am and running through 8:30 PM; with most classes selling out. Our Chelsea and Noho locations have recently surpassed every other boutique gym in the country to become the most trafficked studios nationally. Its an incredible honor to know how much fun people are having at Rumble and it shows in the attendance, and the countless instagram posts with big groups of people throwing their fists up and smiling in front of one of our commissioned “Instagrammable moment” art pieces.
3. When did Rumble launch? Can you share any membership numbers/company growth? (It seems like it's the next hot thing in fitness and I'd love to have some numbers/percentages that prove this). What is the percentage of women vs. men members?
Rumble first opened the doors in Chelsea January 9th 2017. Quickly become NYC’s favorite gym destination with attendance skyrocketing to 600 plus people a day relatively quickly. NoHo, our second location, opened doors in August. We have around 60K customers signed up with around 71% being female.
4. How many Rumble locations are there? What is the rate of which you are opening new doors? How many new locations are planned for 2018 and beyond?
2 locations at the moment. With Upper east side and Los Angeles opening in Summer. San Francisco, D.C, Philly opening in Fall. We’re going to open 8-10 Rumbles in the next 20 months
5. The four Rumble founders have very diverse backgrounds. Can you tell us a bit abut each and how they helped shape the business plan?
The founders of Rumble have incredibly diverse backgrounds. From Anthony DiMarco who was one of the original employees of Google who retired to run 17 Ironman, Andy Stenzler who founded Cosi sandwiches and has an amazing entrepreneurial track record, to Eugene Remm the founder of CATCH restaurants and the iconic club TENJUNE, who is one of the best experience makers in the nightlife and hospitality industry, to myself who rose to the top of the NYC fitness scene to become the most highly sought after group fitness trainer in the country. We all had such strong backgrounds and unique contributions to make. I’m so honored to get to work with these visionaries and our bond is something not often seen in business; and that really resonates culturally at Rumble.
6. Is Rumble self-funded or are there investors? Can you share anything unique about the fundraising process or any investors behind the company?
We have an incredibly robust and diverse group of investors. It’s “fun money” meaning we had such a strong reputation and plan going into this thing, we had the ability to choose backers that would help contribute to the culture of Rumble and not just simply write a check. From Sylvester Stallone to some incredibly reputable funds. When you open a boxing gym, and have ROCKY himself believing in your vision, you know you have something special.
7. Rumble seems to have particularly struck a chord with women. Can you tell us why you think that is? Where there any strategies to target bringing women into the Rumble world, or did this happen naturally?
We wanted to make boxing more accessible. Polish the experience up. We have a message of inclusivity, equality, and empowerment that resonates with the messaging, aesthetics, and execution of the Rumble brand. Couple that with the unique and welcoming design, and I think you have a recipe that tastes delicious to our female customer. I am incredibly proud of how welcomed women feel at Rumble, and how they are using Rumble to hone their skills. Using a Rumble class to find an endlessly flowing well of positivity, support, and their own self confidence.
Here, you spend half the class on the bags and half on the floor
Boxing can be intimidating and male dominated, so it was important for us to keep the authenticity of a boxing inspired studio, but be cognizant that we wanted everyone to feel like they could let loose and throw punches without fear of judgement.
8. Can you tell us a little bit about how you market the brand/gain new customers? Is social media a big part of the strategy?
We have an experience that people love to share, so a lot of our social media marketing comes from our rapidly expanding customer base sharing their experiences to their engaged following authentically. That authenticity and home grown marketing is the strongest form of promotion. Provide a great time, and let people share it with their spheres of influence. We also make sure to keep our own marketing material and content incredibly fresh and engaging. We constantly have shoots to keep promoting our brand on social media in a fresh way. We don’t do stale or normal at Rumble. We have to stay fresh to death!
9. Any learning lessons/unique challenges you've faced on the road to launching Rumble that you can share with entrepreneurs looking to follow in your footsteps?
Be true to your vision. To touch back to your first question, everyone sets out to be DIFFERENT. We set out to be authentic. Building a brand is a job that you can’t clock out of. We’re so fortunate to absolutely love what we do, so you might catch all of the founders of Rumble taking a class at 830 pm on a Thursday night supporting a new trainer on schedule. We are heavily involved. Being an entrepreneur is a lot like boxing. It's not about not getting hit, it's about rolling with those punches, taking it on the chin sometimes, and knowing you have the dedication, training, team support and work ethic to persevere.
The glam behind the success, Rumble doesn't look like a typical gym
10. Are there any unique trends you are seeing in the fitness world these days? With all the options going on (from phone apps to Classpass), is today's fitness consumer more discerning than ever? If so, what is she looking for?
Of course. You can be when you have so many options. At the end of the day though, people want fun and convenience. People will pay a premium for fitness if they feel like they are getting their moneys worth. So for us, it was important to provide the most premium experience ever so that we could warrant our price and a discerning fitness enthusiasts time.
11. Can you tell us little about your trainers/founding trainers? It seems you have some amazing ladies there. Can you tell us a bit about them and how you selected the team? (What is the percentage of men/women trainers?)
The talent of the Rumble trainers is undeniable. We were so fortunate to naturally have connections to our founding team and everything came together very serendipitously. Joe Ferraro, Rob Sulaver, Andy Stern, Erika Hammond, Dani Burrell, and Ashley Guarrassi. When you know, you know. Confidence is never a problem with us founders and we trust our gut. When we were meeting with potential trainers to launch this brand, we knew without a doubt the star power of this group of individuals.
Their passion and dedication to the craft is unrelenting, and it shows with every class they teach. Same with all of the trainers at Rumble; they bleed their love, passion, and care for the people in their class. Sweat pouring off their bodies as the drive the arch of the class. I may be a little biased but simply put, its just special. A special place, filled with special people, and an incredibly special culture. I couldn’t be more proud and humbled that Rumble has had such a profound affect on New York City in such a short amount of time.
Women in the workplace have always experienced a certain degree of discrimination from male colleagues, and according to new studies, it appears that it is becoming even more difficult for women to get acclimated to modern day work environments, in wake of the #MeToo Movement.
In a recent study conducted by LeanIn.org, in partnership with SurveyMonkey, 60% of male managers confessed to feeling uncomfortable engaging in social situations with women in and outside of the workplace. This includes interactions such as mentorships, meetings, and basic work activities. This statistic comes as a shocking 32% rise from 2018.
What appears the be the crux of the matter is that men are afraid of being accused of sexual harassment. While it is impossible to discredit this fear as incidents of wrongful accusations have taken place, the extent to which it has burgeoned is unacceptable. The #MeToo movement was never a movement against men, but an empowering opportunity for women to speak up about their experiences as victims of sexual harassment. Not only were women supporting one another in sharing to the public that these incidents do occur, and are often swept under the rug, but offered men insight into behaviors and conversations that are typically deemed unwelcomed and unwarranted.
Restricting interaction with women in the workplace is not a solution, but a mere attempt at deflecting from the core issue. Resorting to isolation and exclusion relays the message that if men can't treat women how they want, then they rather not deal with them at all. Educating both men and women on what behaviors are unacceptable while also creating a work environment where men and women are held accountable for their actions would be the ideal scenario. However, the impact of denying women opportunities of mentorship and productive one-on-one meetings hinders growth within their careers and professional networks.
Women, particularly women of color, have always had far fewer opportunities for mentorship which makes it impossible to achieve growth within their careers without them. If women are given limited opportunities to network in and outside of a work environment, then men must limit those opportunities amongst each other, as well. At the most basic level, men should be approaching female colleagues as they would approach their male colleagues. Striving to achieve gender equality within the workplace is essential towards creating a safer environment.
While restricted communication and interaction may diminish the possibility of men being wrongfully accused of sexual harassment, it creates a hostile
environment that perpetuates women-shaming and victim-blaming. Creating distance between men and women only prompts women to believe that male colleagues who avoid them will look away from or entirely discredit sexual harassment they experience from other men in the workplace. This creates an unsafe working environment for both parties where the problem at hand is not solved, but overlooked.
According to LeanIn's study, only 85% of women said they feel safe on the job, a 5% drop from 2018. In the report, Jillesa Gebhardt wrote, "Media coverage that is intended to hold aggressors accountable also seems to create a sense of threat, and people don't seem to feel like aggressors are held accountable." Unfortunately, only 16% of workers believed that harassers holding high positions are held accountable for their actions which inevitably puts victims in difficult, and quite possibly dangerous, situations. 50% of workers also believe that there are more repercussions for the victims than harassers when speaking up.
In a research poll conducted by Edison Research in 2018, 30% of women agreed that their employers did not handle harassment situations properly while 53% percent of men agreed that they did. Often times, male harassers hold a significant amount of power within their careers that gives them a sense of security and freedom to go forward with sexual misconduct. This can be seen in cases such as that of Harvey Weinstein, Bill Cosby and R. Kelly. Men in power seemingly have little to no fear that they will face punishment for their actions.
Source-Alex Brandon, AP
Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook executive and founder of LeanIn.org., believes that in order for there to be positive changes within work environments, more women should be in higher positions. In an interview with CNBC's Julia Boorstin, Sandberg stated, "you know where the least sexual harassment is? Organizations that have more women in senior leadership roles. And so, we need to mentor women, we need to sponsor women, we need to have one-on-one conversations with them that get them promoted." Fortunately, the number of women in leadership positions are slowly increasing which means the prospect of gender equality and safer work environments are looking up.
Despite these concerning statistics, Sandberg does not believe that movements such as the Times Up and Me Too movements, have been responsible for the hardship women have been experiencing in the workplace. "I don't believe they've had negative implications. I believe they're overwhelmingly positive. Because half of women have been sexually harassed. But the thing is it is not enough. It is really important not to harass anyone. But that's pretty basic. We also need to not be ignored," she stated. While men may be feeling uncomfortable, putting an unrealistic amount of distance between themselves and female coworkers is more harmful to all parties than it is beneficial. Men cannot avoid working with women and vice versa. Creating such a hostile environment is also detrimental to any business as productivity and communication will significantly decrease.
The fear or being wrongfully accused of sexual harassment is a legitimate fear that deserves recognition and understanding. However, restricting interactions with women in the workplace is not a sensible solution as it can have negatively impact a woman's career. Companies are in need of proper training and resources to help both men and women understand what is appropriate workplace behavior. Refraining from physical interactions, commenting on physical appearance, making lewd or sexist jokes and inquiring about personal information are also beneficial steps towards respecting your colleagues' personal space. There is still much work to be done in order to create safe work environments, but with more and more women speaking up and taking on higher positions, women can feel safer and hopefully have less contributions to make to the #MeToo movement.