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This article originally appeared in the Bentley Magazine.
Like the athletes who are the focus of their three-year-old company, entrepreneurs Jared Antista ’02 and Joe Lamoureux ’01 have learned to play through the pain.
“No one prepares you for the rejection,” Antista says of the cold calls to professional athletes and agents that were part of launching Go Pro Workouts. “After hearing ‘no’ from people all day, though, you finally get that one ‘yes.’"
“Playing sports taught me how to rebound fast. It’s like coming off a bad loss and seeing how fast you can get a win.”
The company teams up with professional athletes and trainers to create sport-specific training programs for high school and college athletes, delivered in a fully digital format. Some 30 pros share tips and techniques in nine sports. The roster includes World Cup champion and Olympic gold medalist Christie Rampone, NBA All-Star Roy Hibbert, and NFL Pro Bowl linebacker Von Miller.
“With Christie, for example, we developed a training program designed specifically for aspiring female soccer players,” explains Lamoureux, a former Finance major at Bentley. “It features the same strategies she uses to prepare for major international competitions.”
The eight-week training regimens are seriously challenging. Workouts come in the form of web apps easily accessed by smartphone, tablet or computer.
Pursuing a Passion
The business idea was hatched in 2010, when Lamoureux approached his long-time friend and fellow Falcon soccer player.
“One day I realized that sports and fitness companies were, for the most part, all the same,” he recalls. “There’s no company that focuses on providing athletes with optimal training information for their particular sport in a scalable way. Everyone just wants to sell T-shirts and sports drinks.”
Lamoureux left a career in finance and strategic consulting to take on CEO duties at Go Pro Workouts. Antista, a former Marketing major, signed on to manage athlete and partner relationships.
“I wanted to follow the passion I have for sports and fitness and take full responsibility for the success or failure of my future,” Antista says of his decision to leave the advertising industry.
The successful partnerships that Go Pro Workouts has forged suggest he made the right choice. To add a nutrition component to the company’s training programs, for example, they joined with SportFuel LLC, which serves Chicago-area professional teams such as the 2013 Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks. The resulting videos feature meal plans customized to the client’s height, weight, fitness goals and chosen sport, created with food choices used by pro athletes. In addition, health club giant Planet Fitness has tapped Go Pro Workouts as a platform to deliver their own branded workout and nutrition programs. Other corporate partners are GNC, Soccer.com and Lacrosse.com.
Lamoureux is confident about their niche.
“Many companies that cater to the sports and fitness market claim that if you lace up their sneakers or wear their apparel, you’ll instantly run faster or jump higher. In reality, it’s preparation, determination and access to the right training information.”
Play it Forward
These days, Go Pro Workouts is on the receiving end of calls from interested athletes. Their approach to signing talent is simple but effective, according to Antista.
“We want players who are workers and who understand the long-term vision. Most professional athletes wanted this type of program when they were in high school and college, but nothing was available. They believe in it.”
Behind the scenes, Antista and Lamoureux work hard to create an ego-free zone.
“We look at athletes like we look at anyone else,” says Lamoureux. “During photo and video shoots, we joke around and have a good time, they appreciate that we aren’t so corporate in our approach.”
The co-founders aim to make Go Pro Workouts a “one-stop shop for fitness, technical and nutritional training — all packaged in a scalable digital and mobile platform,” says Antista. “We want to be the ultimate resource for athletes who are looking to improve their game.”
The Yawkey Foundations have recognized Bentley University’s longstanding commitment to service-learning and awarded the university $500,000 to educate students to effectively lead nonprofit organizations and expand student efforts to help community groups.