If you’ve learned anything from this site, you’ll know that you can do anything and everything when it comes to expanding your fitness career; it’s not just limited to independent training, studio ownership, or bootcamps. There’s everything from sports and conditioning, to specializing in a niche you’re passionate about, to scumbag internet marketing (or you could turn into an internet tough guy, kind of like me).
Then there are other phases of the business that don’t involve transferring your knowledge or personality directly at all, but rather selling fitness products. Mark Lebert’s created an amazing business with that, with his LEBERT EQUALIZER. And I have a new guest today that took his passion for bodybuilding and powerlifting into a full line of equipment and products, Daniel Emick, President and CEO of Hypertrophy Enterprises LLC.
Even if you’ve already “found yourself” in this business and are working full steam to blow up at it, this interview will prove useful in showing you what’s possible and the “get it done attitude” you need to make your business succeed. And it never hurts to hear about how more people are succeeding at fitness. Whatever the case, you’ll find this interview very valuable.
Most trainers and fitness entrepreneurs think of information marketing as the only way to expand their fitness businesses. But product marketing is also a huge opportunity for someone that knows what they’re doing. And for those not inclined to do lots of writing and blogging, it’s truly passive income. On that subject, I got none other than Daniel Emick on Super-Trainer.com for an interview to talk about his series of products, and in particular his marquee products, the Haulin’ Hooks family of grip products.
Hey Daniel – great to have you on Super-Trainer. I have to say I love the Haulin’ Hooks, and when I was heavy into powerlifting, I used to use them myself. They’re high quality and functional for the needs of powerlifters at all levels. How did you get the idea for them?
Thanks for the great testimonial and the opportunity to be a featured guest on this site. The idea for the Haulin’ Hooks was spawned following a 20 year frustration with common weightlifting straps and hooks. And believe me as a competitive bodybuilder always pushing for more, I tried them all. Unfortunately every type had a compromise of one sort or another whether it be one size doesn’t fit all, uncomfortable, poorly made, or flat our dangerous to use. That’s what urged me to create the ultimate no compromise grip aid that actually delivered on the promises we make.
What’s your history in the fitness industry?
I have 35+ years of experience in resistance exercise and performance nutrition, including 25 years of in the trenches experience in the world of Natural Bodybuilding. I was also a fitness club owner and operator, group & personal fitness trainer for 10 years.
After you had the idea, what were your first steps to getting this product made?
Well I jotted down everything this “Hold-On” had to achieve to blow away the competition, then got to work on a rough drawing. I then sought a local manufacturer to build prototypes for me and a year later I had our “Original” model to put to a test. A few changes here and there and before you know it, Haulin’ Hooks were created.
Once you have an idea, how do you make sure no one takes it? How do you protect your intellectual property, and how do you enforce it?
Well the first step in keeping an idea from getting ripped off is to keep your mouth shut! Nobody has to know that you’re working on the world’s next great invention although admittedly it can be difficult not to express your enthusiasm regarding it! I kept mine secret within my fitness club by using it in plain sight, but not letting on that it was the only one in existence. People just assumed I had bought it somewhere, and when they used it, they wanted a set for themselves. I would tell them I would order them a pair as soon as I located the manufacturer…of course that happened when I got my first production run delivered after having sought, and been awarded full patent protection (a year long process)
How does someone go about getting products produced? I have noticed the price of your products are very affordable, and simultaneously the products and packaging quality is extremely high. Where and how do you get your products made to still give you the necessary profit margin?
Getting products produced is easy, but getting them built to a quality standard that is acceptable is not as much! Manufacturing at a low enough price for a solid profit margin it can add a new dynamic, which can lead to compromises here-n-there in the effort to hit the middle ground goals.
We keep the quality and costs of our Haulin’ Hooks where we like them by manufacturing in house (we outsource the patented Hooks themselves).
This gives us total control of quality control standards and keeps costs of manufacture within reason. It also affords us the ability to add or drop new models, features, and other product options to a very short time frame. This would not be possible if using an overseas manufacturer due to the logistics and time consuming correspondence.
What were the primary skills you needed or barriers you faced when getting started with your product line? What is the process like?
The primary skills needed when building our product line was an insiders expertise in the world of hardcore weightlifting! You simply cannot build the finest grip aid the world has ever seen unless you had personal, in-depth experience with the status-quo. And believe me this bodybuilder/club owner has been there, done that! The process in building our Haulin’ Hooks line again was rooted in my experiences in the craft; I fully understood the needs of the various subcultures within the weightlifting world so I set about devising a line of custom tailored grip aids suited expressly for each with their specific needs in mind.
Of course prior to finalization, all models were tested and refined via feedback gathered from those weightlifters, be it bodybuilders, powerlifters, lady figure competitors, or just lifters in general. An all important step in the process since they are the marker, and if they didn’t love them, everything else was in vain.
Good luck and continued success with your products. If the trainers and fit pros reading this want to check them out, where can they find them?
Thank you for the well wishes, you can bet we will be doing our God given best to do our part in the process.
All of our current Haulin’ Hooks models can be viewed online at our website: www.hold-ons.com. However we are in the process of completing our brand new site, which will include the debut of no less than (4) never been seen before, patented and patent pending NEW fitness tools that will definitely add some serious kick to those workouts! Our new site to accommodate all of the new and the existing products will be www.LPGmuscle.com the LPG is for Lift more, Pull more, Grow more.
Daniel W. Emick
President and CEO of Hypertrophy Enterprises LLC
Just when you were almost done with your e-book, how did you like that loop I threw you for?! From Daniel’s story, you have just one more career path available for all of us in fitness. Not sure if everyone realizes that when they’re taking their certification tests, but it’s a pretty cool thing.
Before this article went live, I contacted the General Manager I know from within the company, Carl Schusler, for some more info on their products, so you could get an idea of what a full product line looks like, and he sent me the following email:
Here’s some additional information on the latest products that we are coming out with.
The videos attached here can also be seen on our Youtube home page: http://www.youtube.com/user/HypertrophyLLC I have much more information that we are working on as far as bullet points and features for every product as we are having a new website being built.
First, the Physio-Twist: it is designed to combine an athlete, Physio ball, leverage and a weight stack for the express purpose of building extreme core torque capacity. Patent pending Physio-Twist delivers on the promise by providing athletes with a secure gripping platform from which to get it done.
For starters, Physio-Twists belt strap snap buckle can be instantly connected and adjusted to accommodate any commonly sized Physio ball.
Secondly, multi-user capacity is ensured as Physio-Twists gripping handles may be set to suit athletes arm length with a simple lift and pull/push of handle cam buckles.
Lastly Physio-Twists belt centered D-ring features heavy duty stitching and is placed to keep resistance attachment cable on track and around ball throughout exercise range of motion.
This is a link to a quick video for it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JvZpJKNS5lU I am working on another one with a little more of the product in use.
We have adapted the patented hook design from the Haulin Hooks for a couple of other products, the E-Z Dip dumbbell dipping belt system that is shown on our existing website and we have a multipurpose strap coming out that we call the Delt Belt Upright Row that is a strap that can be attached to a cable machine for multiple exercises or drop a dumbbell into the patented hook and hook sleeves for silky smooth upright rows this is the video soon for this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DKXWHEsFCYM
This link is to an impromptu workout that Daniel Emick our inventor puts a young bodybuilder through using two of these new products, the Tri-Bells and the Rip-Cords.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dX3jaAD388g part one,
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hEtXhdC-Y_g&feature=related part two,
This link is for the Tri-Bells product to give you an idea on a couple of exercises.
This link is for the Lat Bar Pull Down System, we are currently working with manufacturers in order to bring this to market the bar system will work in conjunction with our Rip-Cords Product that is shown in previous videos (This is really popular at the local gym, we just took it back for some improvements last week and guys are missing it.)
Please let me know if you have any questions on these.
I hope you’re not saying being an internet tough guy is a bad thing. It’s one of my favorite hobbies.
Great post Kaiser. I’ve always been kind of curious about this, and you’re article helped me out. Am I wrong or is this not as hard as most people think?
Cool post man!
I checked out some of these products and they look awesome. You’re right, the places to take personal training is amazing.
Hey Kaiser – great interview man – thanks for the info –
Great article Kaiser – I’ve always been curious about how these kinds of products were made, and now I see how it’s done. Thanks buddy.
Excellent article, Kaiser. Learned a lot as usual. Keep up the great work.