Talking Functional Fitness With Marc Lebert

Posted on 28. Sep, 2010 by in Marketing Fitness


The Equalizer is great for just hanging around.

The Equalizer is great for just hanging around.

I’m lucky I reserved the domain when I did, because there’s a guy that would definitely give me a run for my money on that title.

It’s Marc Lebert, famed creator of the Lebert Equalizer, and now several other products that are making trainer’s and studio owner’s lives easier and less expensive at the same time.

But don’t think making “passive” income off of his products is all he does.   Marc is about as in-the-trenches as it gets: he still runs group-ex classes, owns a gym, and all in all “lives” fitness, not just profits from it.  In fact, he told me that he just got back from doing an action movie shoot this weekend.

And by the way, if you ever mentioned the words “passive income” to Marc, he’d probably laugh in your face.  He’s constantly traveling all over the world promoting his products; so you’d have to say their success has been anything but passive.  He has probably the tightest schedule of anyone in this business but appears be loving every minute of it.

When it comes to the Equalizer, you’ll see everyone from the New York Knicks to Kim Kardashian working out with it (here’s a recent feature of Lebert Products in Muscle & Fitness Magazine).

And his two other products, The Buddy System and The Stretch Strap are also wildly popular and now a staple of training studios worldwide.

I remember back in my days at the big gym, I used to take my clients away from the meatheads in the Hammer Stregth section to more private areas of the gym to work with bodyweight and simpler equipment.  You’ll now see many of the big gyms making this a part of how they do business, with designated training areas that are low on traditional equipment and heavy on functional stuff.

Why should anything be different in your studio?  If you’re smart, they won’t be.  That’s precisely how we can keep the start-up costs of your studio just under 5K with the business model in STUDIO START-UP. To get your copy, just go here.


The Stretch-Strap in action.


And for outfitting your studio, I’ve brought Marc back on to talk all about it. If you’re a follower of this site you’re no stranger to Marc and his products. Here’s one of his previous visits to the site. This time, Marc did a Q & A about his equipment and his philosophy:


Hey Marc – great to have you back on the site and it’s been way too long.  You’re a great guy for trainers to learn from on many different levels.

First off I wanted to ask you what’s new with LEBERT.  You have a few relatively new products in the mix; tell us about them.

Thanks Kaiser, it has been too long and it’s great to connect with you once again!

What’s new with Lebert? One exciting piece is that we just opened up in Europe.  Aerobics and Fitness in Spain carry our products now and had us down to Barcelona to present at their trade show! Great people and a great city!

As far as the products go, the Buddy System is tearing it up at trade shows! It is being received so well I think because it FEELS much different than it looks; when trainers get on it you can see the light bulbs going off. This is a great feeling because I know this already, but it’s takes an enormous amount of resources to educate a market on a new tool that looks so innocent but is so effective and looks so familiar but defies any previous category; like bands, cables, etc (with the uni-lateral sawing motions and partner manual resistance).

Your products are a big part of what I recommend and encourage trainers to use in STUDIO START-UP.  One of the reasons is because we’re seeing more of a minimalist trend in the training industry away from traditional bodybuilding gym equipment to more functional gear like the TRX, kettlebells, and Lebert Brand products.  Have you seen the same thing yourself?


What are you feelings about it?

It’s so true! I remember 3 years ago talking to my fitness club partners and saying let’s sell all this equipment. The inner/outer thigh machine and many others are such a waste of space, time and money. Jumping jacks can do the same thing plus work quads, calves and cardio. Simple is always better and you can do so much with just bodyweight and a few simple tools.

So I love the minimalist trend! It makes people more aware of their body and gets trainers into the workouts and gets them creative. The exercises and tools can be used to mimic daily and athletic functions depending on the client’s goals. It’s here to stay!

It’s a fact: group training is where this industry is headed.  And the BUDDY SYSTEM is a product that fits right into that trend.  What are some of the ways trainers can incorporate them into their groups?

Group training keeps members and clients. I see it at my club – my Monday night fitness boxing class is an “event”. We all show up to train hard, have fun and we are like a family. Group training does something machines can never do – they create an environment that is energized, clients are motivated and have the instruction to train smart.

Think about how martial artists and the military train – they train in groups and push each other to bring each individual’s game up. The Buddy System fits into this perfectly because people are physically connected, can see and feel each other work, and even cajole each other a little! We have seen the Buddy System take tired classes and breathe new life into them- increasing participation, retention and referrals!

One of the drawbacks of groups is that trainers can’t always stretch each client individually and the STRETCH STRAP is a great product to help them handle that themselves after sessions.  What’s possible with it?

That is really the genesis for this product. After class I would look around at how many people were not even close to touching their toes. The hips were externally rotated and the back bent. The Stretch Strap is a simple way for them the perform stretches properly but even more than that- to relax and breath while doing so (because they are not straining to reach their toes).

What has been your philosophy in creating your products up to now?  What are your own philosophies on fitness that have shaped their design?

We have a corporate mandate to keep products innovative and new (never seen before – anyone can come out with more rubber bands and balls) and under $100. My personal philosophy comes into each of my products (and always will) which is “Nothing works till you do”.

When people ask me if the Equalizer works I say “No, it just sits there. But it works beautifully if you are consistent with your pushing and pulling motions. And squats!”

Where do you see the training industry going product wise in the near future?

I see the minimalist trend continuing because it’s great for trainers – less upfront cost on equipment and in most cases is the best choice for clients as well. It’s Win-Win and we are glad to be a part of it!

Thanks Kaiser!!!


That was some more great info from Marc.  If you’re planning to open a studio, then the move toward smaller, functional (and less expensive) equipment must be music to your ears.

Here’s a look at Marc’s products in action – this is THE BUDDY SYSTEM:

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Here’s Marc demonstrating THE EQUALIZER:

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And here’s Marc showing some of the additional functionality of the product:

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I of course have affiliate links to these products but don’t need them – I support Marc’s products and they’re a key part of what I recommend trainers to outfit their gyms with.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t make some money recommending Marc’s products to your customers.  You can get an affiliate link right here: Lebert Affiliates.

And to get your set of everything he talked about above, just go here: Lebert Brand Products.

They’re all you really need to bring a high-end, high value, and high priced training experience to your clients.

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Raquelle Valderama

28. Sep, 2010

I don’t believe it! I actually got my comment in before Travis Tucker! lol!

The lebert equalizer was one of the first pieces of equipment I bought when I quit the gym last year. I remember seeing it a few places but didn’t know what it was until I saw it on your blog Kaiser.

I couldn’t be more happy with it and it does a ton of amazing things. I’ll be sure to pick up Marc’s other products now too.

Travis Tucker

28. Sep, 2010

Ha – hey R, you got me this time.

Solid post. This guy is a real mover and shaker (from watching that video, literally).

Adam W.

28. Sep, 2010

Hey Raquellle – yup, me too – the first thing I bought was an equalizer.

kaiser, you’re right, Marc Lebert makes products specifically for independent trainers. Can’t wait to see more from him.


28. Sep, 2010

This interview cracked me up!

Most of the equipment in my gym is BULKY HAMMER STRENGHT STUFF! But this is generally what my market wants.

But I totally see your point – for a training studio, you don’t really need it.

I don’t own any of this stuff for my gym, but I’m sure it would work great in the group classes. I’ll be sure to try it out.

(btw Kaiser, my group classes are exploding now thanks to your marketing info – thanks dude.)

Devon NYC

28. Sep, 2010

Hey kaiser – I checked out the program this weekend and I totally see your point. You talk about exactly what you talk about here, and you’re totally right – when I was at New York Sports Club, we never used to trainer the clients on the equipment – just in the trainers area. In my studio, I’m going to do things the same way.

Kaiser Serajuddin

28. Sep, 2010

Loved the feedback here gang. Get everything above, a set of dumbells, a few TRX (and places from which to suspend it), a selection of kettlebells, and maybe a few other odds and ends depending on your specialty, and your studio is about set.

Terry Kennedy

28. Sep, 2010

Great post Kaiser. And it goes to show that info marketing isn’t the only game in town.


28. Sep, 2010

Hey Kaiser. I’ve loved the studio course so far. This post helps make some of that info make more sense. Thanks.


28. Sep, 2010

Whats up kasier. I actually heard of the lebert equalizer through your post a year or two ago. I ended up buying The lebert bundle: the equalizer, buddy system and lebert strap (sretching strap). For a while I was doing in home training and the these 3 items were literally my equipment (throwing in some push up bars and boxing mitts)

I have Marc on my you tube subscription list and he frequently shows new videos on how to use his products for new exercises


The Goods

29. Sep, 2010

Great feature Kaiser! Here in the corporate fitness world we are seeing our budgets for equipment go down and the need for one-on-one or interactive training on the rise.

A huge part of overcoming that paradox has been using the Lebert Fitness line of products!

As you and Marc discussed, they are inexpensive, highly durable and allow the trainer to get in and get dirty with their clients. I’m thinking of taking Marc’s advice and selling all my weight machines :)


Marc Lebert

30. Sep, 2010

Thanks for the post Kaiser! I am glad trainers are finding our equipment useful! Keep up the SUPER work!!!!

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