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.
For decades, women have been unknowingly suffering from PSD and intergenerational trauma, but now Dr. Valerie Rein wants women to reclaim their power through mind, body and healing tools.
As women, no matter how many accomplishments we have or how successful we look on the outside, we all occasionally hear that nagging internal voice telling us to do more. We criticize ourselves more than anyone else and then throw ourselves into the never-ending cycle of self-care, all in effort to save ourselves from crashing into this invisible internal wall. According to psychologist, entrepreneur and author, Dr. Valerie Rein, these feelings are not your fault and there is nothing wrong with you— but chances are you definitely suffering from Patriarchy Stress Disorder.
Patriarchy Stress Disorder (PSD) is defined as the collective inherited trauma of oppression that forms an invisible inner barrier to women's happiness and fulfillment. The term was coined by Rein who discovered a missing link between trauma and the effects that patriarchal power structures have had on certain groups of people all throughout history up until the present day. Her life experience, in addition to research, have led Rein to develop a deeper understanding of the ways in which men and women are experiencing symptoms of trauma and stress that have been genetically passed down from previously oppressed generations.
What makes the discovery of this disorder significant is that it provides women with an answer to the stresses and trauma we feel but cannot explain or overcome. After being admitted to the ER with stroke-like symptoms one afternoon, when Rein noticed the left side of her body and face going numb, she was baffled to learn from her doctors that the results of her tests revealed that her stroke-like symptoms were caused by stress. Rein was then left to figure out what exactly she did for her clients in order for them to be able to step into the fullness of themselves that she was unable to do for herself. "What started seeping through the tears was the realization that I checked all the boxes that society told me I needed to feel happy and fulfilled, but I didn't feel happy or fulfilled and I didn't feel unhappy either. I didn't feel much of anything at all, not even stress," she stated.
Photo Courtesy of Dr. Valerie Rein
This raised the question for Rein as to what sort of hidden traumas women are suppressing without having any awareness of its presence. In her evaluation of her healing methodology, Rein realized that she was using mind, body and trauma healing tools with her clients because, while they had never experienced a traumatic event, they were showing the tell-tale symptoms of trauma which are described as a disconnect from parts of ourselves, body and emotions. In addition to her personal evaluation, research at the time had revealed that traumatic experiences are, in fact, passed down genetically throughout generations. This was Rein's lightbulb moment. The answer to a very real problem that she, and all women, have been experiencing is intergenerational trauma as a result of oppression formed under the patriarchy.
Although Rein's discovery would undoubtably change the way women experience and understand stress, it was crucial that she first broaden the definition of trauma not with the intention of catering to PSD, but to better identify the ways in which trauma presents itself in the current generation. When studying psychology from the books and diagnostic manuals written exclusively by white men, trauma was narrowly defined as a life-threatening experience. By that definition, not many people fit the bill despite showing trauma-like symptoms such as disconnections from parts of their body, emotions and self-expression. However, as the field of psychology has expanded, more voices have been joining the conversations and expanding the definition of trauma based on their lived experience. "I have broadened the definition to say that any experience that makes us feel unsafe psychically or emotionally can be traumatic," stated Rein. By redefining trauma, people across the gender spectrum are able to find validation in their experiences and begin their journey to healing these traumas not just for ourselves, but for future generations.
While PSD is not experienced by one particular gender, as women who have been one of the most historically disadvantaged and oppressed groups, we have inherited survival instructions that express themselves differently for different women. For some women, this means their nervous systems freeze when faced with something that has been historically dangerous for women such as stepping into their power, speaking out, being visible or making a lot of money. Then there are women who go into fight or flight mode. Although they are able to stand in the spotlight, they pay a high price for it when their nervous system begins to work in a constant state of hyper vigilance in order to keep them safe. These women often find themselves having trouble with anxiety, intimacy, sleeping or relaxing without a glass of wine or a pill. Because of this, adrenaline fatigue has become an epidemic among high achieving women that is resulting in heightened levels of stress and anxiety.
"For the first time, it makes sense that we are not broken or making this up, and we have gained this understanding by looking through the lens of a shared trauma. All of these things have been either forbidden or impossible for women. A woman's power has always been a punishable offense throughout history," stated Rein.
Although the idea of having a disorder may be scary to some and even potentially contribute to a victim mentality, Rein wants people to be empowered by PSD and to see it as a diagnosis meant to validate your experience by giving it a name, making it real and giving you a means to heal yourself. "There are still experiences in our lives that are triggering PSD and the more layers we heal, the more power we claim, the more resilience we have and more ability we have in staying plugged into our power and happiness. These triggers affect us less and less the more we heal," emphasized Rein. While the task of breaking intergenerational transmission of trauma seems intimidating, the author has flipped the negative approach to the healing journey from a game of survival to the game of how good can it get.
In her new book, Patriarchy Stress Disorder: The Invisible Barrier to Women's Happiness and Fulfillment, Rein details an easy system for healing that includes the necessary tools she has sourced over 20 years on her healing exploration with the pioneers of mind, body and trauma resolution. Her 5-step system serves to help "Jailbreakers" escape the inner prison of PSD and other hidden trauma through the process of Waking Up in Prison, Meeting the Prison Guards, Turning the Prison Guards into Body Guards, Digging the Tunnel to Freedom and Savoring Freedom. Readers can also find free tools on Rein's website to help aid in their healing journey and exploration.
"I think of the book coming out as the birth of a movement. Healing is not women against men– it's women, men and people across the gender spectrum, coming together in a shared understanding that we all have trauma and we can all heal."