VR Fitness Insider Podcast – Episode 3: Joshua Kozak

Welcome to a new episode of the VR Fitness Insider Podcast! Join us as we welcome Joshua Kozak of HASfit and Loodo. He is a digital fitness pioneer using XR technologies to improve the world of sports and fitness.

Welcome to a new episode of the VR Fitness Insider Podcast!

Join us as we welcome Joshua Kozak of HASfit and Loodo. He is a digital fitness pioneer using XR technologies to improve the world of sports and fitness.

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Episode 3 – Joshua Kozak

Preston Lewis: [00:00:00] Welcome to the VR Fitness Insiders podcast, for the creators who are building the future of the VR and AR sports and fitness industries that will revolutionize the way the world will play sports, work out and get fit with your hosts. Preston Lewis and Ryan DeLuca, the founders of Black Box VR, who are building the world’s first full fitness VR gym and bring decades of experience from creating some of the largest fitness technology companies in the world.

They’re bringing together the best and brightest minds to help you and your company succeed in the VR fitness revolution.

Today we have a digital fitness industry pioneer, Josh Kozak. Josh, thanks for being here.

Joshua Kozak: Yeah, it’s a pleasure, honored, especially being an early guest. We’ll look back on this in a couple years from now and this will be bragging rights.

Preston Lewis: Heck yeah, man. Made it.

Ryan DeLuca: That’s right. Yeah. Imagine being one of the first Joe Rogan guests? That’s gotta be pretty cool.

Joshua Kozak: There we go.

Preston Lewis: So,just to kick it off, why don’t you just give our audience a little quick intro into who you are and tell me a little bit about your background?

Thank you Preston. As you said, my name is Joshua Kozak. I’ve been [00:01:00] in the health and fitness industry for twenty years now. but, uh, you know, in the last thriteen years or so, strictly on the digital side. I was early to exercise streaming back when your main options were DVDs.

We started streaming back in like 2010, 2011. That’s led to over a billion workouts streamed over the last decade. And then in 2014 we were early partners with Android Wear and Apple Watch, and started building smart watch apps, leveraging the motion sensors and the apps to launch a suite of apps that could track human movement from sleeping to exercise, et cetera.

That resulted in acquisition offers from three of the top four smart watch manufacturers at the time. And then most recently, in 2018, partnered with a large healthcare company to start a healthcare slash wellness slash fitness company. Kind of the convergence of therapeutic exercise in healthcare.

Joshua Kozak: And, we sold that in January 2021, and now I’mlooking towards the next [00:02:00] frontier, which is why I’m here joining y’all.

Ryan DeLuca: You’ve been in so many different parts of fitness and technology and using different technologies, it’s just amazing when you hear like a billion workouts served. So a billion coach Kozaks out there. Many workouts.

Joshua Kozak: Yeah, I know. It’s kind of weird, especially because it’s like I don’t get to see them face to face. So it’s all just shot in a studio with just a couple people standing there. It’s not really until I go out into the real world and get the privilege of meeting some people that are following the workouts, that it becomes real.

Ryan DeLuca: Yeah, no doubt.

Preston Lewis: All your fans.

Tell us more about HASfit, so a little bit more about, what is it? How’d you start it? Why’d you start it?

Joshua Kozak: Well, thanks to HASfit, I’m officially like an E-list celebrity, I think a little longer and I might qualify for Dancing With the Stars.

I’d be out in the first round, I can tell you that much. You know, with HASfit, we’ve delivered full length home workout videos and we’ve always used YouTube as a top of funnel. So people find us via YouTube and then they move downstream to our own products, which is our mobile apps, our smart TV apps and our website.

We really serve just about every demographic [00:03:00] and modality you could think of.

And so those that don’t know, it’s basically streaming workouts with Josh. And your wife, right?

Joshua Kozak: Yeah, my wife and I, we lead ’em together. I got started on my own. So actually before I met her. Um, and you know it’s funny, the audience was like ninety percent male at that time, right?

And then I brought on her and it was like the perfect ying and yang combination. And now we’re like fifty-fifty, and it just makes everything better and easier.

Preston Lewis: That’s so cool.

Ryan DeLuca: So awesome. So, tell us a little bit more about what you learned. Like you obviously, like you said, you don’t see directly the people that are doing the workouts, but I’m sure you get a lot of feedback.

What type of feedback do you get? What have you learned about the fitness consumer through those streaming services?

Joshua Kozak: Yeah, a lot, but it’s only a thirty minute podcast, so I’m gonna try to keep it short. I’m gonna try to keep it short and sweet. one of the biggest benefits that we have is really just the connection that we’ve been able to build with the audience, in that, they really appreciate seemingly having us being in their living room. It’s one of the biggest add-ons that we have. We try hard to be personable and real,and not like a fake character putting on a show, but somebody’s like “Oh, my legs are actually burning too.”

Like, “Oh, this is [00:04:00] actually hard for me.” Like, “Oh, shoot, I just sprained my hamstring in the middle of the shot.” Or whatever. So, just being real and genuine. But then, I think the other thing, too, just understanding thatso many people have limitations that are getting in their way from exercising. And that could be things like, full-time jobs and responsibilities with kids, to physical ailments, et cetera. So, you know, we wanna live in this world where we feel like, “Oh, all you gotta do is as easy as stepping out there and hitting the play button.”

But, everybody has all of these things that are constantly pulling at them, pulling them away from being to accomplish their fitness goals.

Ryan DeLuca: It is interesting being able to have that connection, like you said, and just knowing that the workout is there, like they just need to press play and do the workout. And you hear from the people that do the workout, but what we don’t hear from are the people that didn’t press play and they didn’t stream that workout that was there. And so it’s interesting, like you said, there’s so much in people’s lives that might hold them back from that. What have you seen that works for that consumer? What doesn’t seem to work for them? And, more about that.

Joshua Kozak: Yeah, I think, just from the appeal of having easily accessible home workouts, you know, it removes a lot of the [00:05:00] barriers to entry. The ability to say: “Hey, I don’t have to look presentable to go to the gym. I don’t have to worry about the commute.” We have a lot of young parents, you know, like, “Oh, I put my child down for a nap and I’m gonna hit a quick thirty minute workout, whether they sleep in the other room or while they are in the room, I’m gonna work out.”

And so for HASfit’s audience, it’s really about just the easily accessibility and just like being able to hit play at any time with no excuses whenever they have ten to thirty minutes in their day. And so the people that are successful, are the people that build that habit to look for those moments and get that workout in.

So it sounds like you’re right there in their living room. You’re speaking to the consumer in a really organic, approachable way, which when we looked at your videos in the past, it definitely has that really approachable feeling to it, which I think is great for people.

Because, I mean, as we know, a lot of people are intimidated by fitness in general. So it’s awesome that you’ve approached the intimidation factor by being real on your end. But then also, as you mentioned, reducing the friction, which increases adherence and things like that. Super cool.

Joshua Kozak: Exactly. Yeah.

Ryan DeLuca: It is actually an interesting point, too. Sometimes when you see professional [00:06:00] streaming instructors, like Peloton instructors or Apple Fitness instructors, people seem to think they have this like perfect life and it’s, “Oh, they have perfect motivation and it’s simple for them.” And “If it was my job to work out all day, then I’d be in shape.” And it’s really hard to relate to people like that, even though behind the scenes those people have just as many struggles, if not more than a lot of people. But, it’s nice to have somebody that seems more real that people can relate to, like Preston was saying.

That’s one of the things that’s wrong with the fitness industry as a whole, is there’s thismisconception that you have to be perfect. That all these people’s bodies are perfect, three hundred and sixty five days out of the year.

Joshua Kozak: And then if you’re not that, “Why am I even trying?” And “If I can’t work out seven days a week for an hour a time, then what’s the point?” But that’s not real world, that’s not real life. We’ve been successful in being more genuine and authentic.

I think I got my first like weight set at thirteen years old. I’ve been exercising since then. I have to, like,motivate myself and give myself a pep talk. I’m gonna work out later today and I’m gonna need, give myself a little pep talk before I do.

You dovetailed right into the next question, so I won’t spoil that one. [00:07:00] But,I just wanna take a quick moment, because our audience are the builders as well,creating these things. So I think one kind of pin to put in it is, that note that a lot of creators, when they feel like they wanna create something great in this industry, they think that it has to be this crazy high production value. And then, speaking of friction, not only on the fitness side, but friction on the creator side, you’re just like, “Ah, crap, I don’t have the cash to get this fancy equipment or the cash to do this crazy studio”, or whatever. So I think that’s the other thing, aside from serving the customer, one of the cool things that it seems you’ve done with the HASfit stuff is just saying, “Hey, I’m just gonna use the equipment I have,and get it out there as a creator and serve the audiences as quickly as possible as well.”

Preston Lewis: So I think that’s a good note to show people that you’ve really proven the lean, rapid, production aspect as well.

Joshua Kozak: Yeah, just to follow up with that, briefly. I got started with a hundred dollars Canon Power Shot camera that I picked up. It was, like, not a camcorder, like a digital camera for those older folks listening that remember those before we had smartphone to take them.

It can only shoot ten minutes at a time. So I would shoot ten minutes, and then it would go off, and then I’d have to [00:08:00] restart and put everything back together. All that to say, I think, people are coming if you can be your real self and be someone that they can relate to. They’re gonna show up for that over quality lighting and 4K video.

Preston Lewis: Yep.

Ryan DeLuca: Very true. Yeah, so on that note, like we mentioned, what do you see as the biggest problem with the fitness industry today? We kind of mentioned a little bit about the difficulty, and the people that seem to be perfect and we’re being as organic as possible. But, in fitness in general, and current fitness companies, there’s a whole bunch of stuff out there, so many streaming services, so manygyms, and different types of workouts, and different types of equipment and wearables. There’s so many things, but yet, we’re more obese and we’re more outta shape than ever. And we always talk about that stat of eighty plus percent of people aren’t able to stick to a fitness program, even with all those options.

Why do you think that is? What does the fitness industry get wrong today?

That’s a great question, you know, and it’s just like you mentioned, I mean, hundreds of millions and billions of dollars going into startups trying to solve this problem, and we’re not any closer to achieving it.

Joshua Kozak: And when I look at the industry and what problems they’re trying to solve for, they’re trying to solve for education, and they’re trying to solve for like self quantification or metric tracking. [00:09:00] Right? Like new trackers, et cetera. But, if you actually speak to people, that’s not the problems they’re experiencing.

People aren’t not exercising cause they don’t know what’s good for them. By now, everybody knows. Like everybody at every corner of the planet, they know they should be exercising. That’s not a secret, you know? So, the education side, it’s like, what are we doing here, folks?

And then, the self quantification side really only helps those that are doing everything else right. And that’s gonna give them like that top two to five percent edge in improvement. And that’s great if you are already getting eight hours of sleep at night, you’re already eating all, you’re getting all of your nutrition, you already exercising, you’re already getting all of yournon-exercise activity in.

But, that applies to so few people. And so, when you actually like starttalking to people, it really boils down to like threethings.

They lack motivation. Why exercise? Like, I don’t have the motivation to get started.

They lack consistency. They get started and they quit, and then there’s no, they’re not going for any extended period of time. It’s off and on the wagon, is what I hear all the time.

And then, quite frankly, they find exercise boring. Which is why we’re here having this conversation today. It justdoesn’t interest them. It’s like [00:10:00] running on the treadmill. The types of modalities that we’ve put together are not natural for us and our human brains. You know, like, what are we working towards here? And so they, all kind ofcompound into the other overlaying problem, which is it takes a long time to see results when it comes to fitness.

So, because we’re not seeing results, we lose motivation, we lack consistency and exercise is boring. But those hundreds of millions of dollars aren’t going into solving those problems. They’re going into like high tech, which is cool. I love tech. I’m a technologist, but I like tech that solves a problem, and I don’t think we’re solving that problem. Right now.

Ryan DeLuca: Great points. Couldn’t have said it better.

Joshua Kozak: Come down from my soapbox now.

Ryan DeLuca: I think we are all on that soapbox. It’s a big soapbox. There’s a lot of room.

Preston Lewis: To transition a little bit, you talked about HASfit. You were early in the space, you got scrappy with the actual production of things, rapidly created value for a growing consumer base. You were able to reduce the friction of going to the gym, not even having to go to the gym, but being able to get that gym slash fitness experience in the comfort of your own home.

And were you doing this [00:11:00] before the P90X days or in the same time?

Joshua Kozak: P90X had been around. They had launched P90X and Insanity, were there two products. That was before they had a whole suite, you know, at thetime it was just the two DVD offerings. Yeah.

Preston Lewis: Yeah, so you’re creating this content super early, as you mentioned, you’re a technologist, using the tools you had at your disposal. Right? Even if it was a crappy little camcorder or whatever, you just went out and grabbed the tech and went after it. And it sounds like,and we’ll get into this a little bit later in the show, but you’re starting to do that with your next venture.

But what kind of started to get you interested specifically in VR and AR, and some of these other newer technologies that are coming?

Joshua Kozak: You kind of alluded to it already, butmy methodology all along has been to say, “What technologies are coming on, what trends are coming on that are what we can leverage to help get people moving.”

And you know, the other thing I would add to what you just said about HASfit, is it was bandwidth increase. It was just at that point in time that bandwidth was fast enough to support streaming video. There’s a reason why Netflix started with mail and not streaming, right?

It’s like the speeds just weren’t there. And so now we’re [00:12:00] entering another paradigm shift, where there are new technologies coming on that have the opportunity to make exercise more fun, right? I see that being the biggest problem when I look back at my experience, and where I’ve been, and where we are now and where we’re headed. Is, what can we do to make exercise more fun?

And, you know, VR, AR, and some of the new technologies are creating opportunity to not only make it more fun, but then lower that motivation threshold required to get moving. It’s just a logical answer and next step inwhat we can leverage, compared to where a lot of people are going right now, just going back to the last question, which is improvement in sensor technology. Which is great, but that’s only gonna help the five percent that are already doing everything else right.Do you have any kinda magic moments when you first tried VR, and you’re like, “Okay, wait a minute, this is a different tech, this is gonna be insanely powerful”?

Yeah, that’s a good question. I don’t wanna say I will like to teardown other people’s products, but like, when I try VR fitness products I’m like, “Hey, this is really cool, but man, I would do this, I would do that, I would do this different.” And so, I think for me it was getting in and then [00:13:00] seeing the opportunities on what I always to look and steal or borrow what people are doing right, and then improve on where I think I can improve.

What got exciting was when I said, “Look, here are the VR fitnessgames and applications that already exist, and honestly, I think there’s so much room for improvement.” But they’re already engaging people. So it’s like, “Wow, if they’re working right now like this, imagine if X, Y, and Z were to happen?”

So to me, that’s the exciting part, is to see like how much is left, right? How much improvement is left.

Ryan DeLuca: I mean, on that note, like, I think we kind of all agree. Right? We play certain games like Beat Saber or other kind of similar ones. It’s like, there’s something really magical that happens in VR, the immersive part of it, and like, really being into these experiences.

But, there does seem to be a missing piece. And what we always kind of talk about is that progression piece. Games do such a good job of creating those compulsion loops that make you want to come back, and you’ve invested time into this game, and you’vecreated things in the personalization and the goal setting. Which a lot of the current experiences are pretty one dimensional; it’s just do the workout, do the workout, and there’s much more that connects it all together.

Preston Lewis: Good point. I mean,piggybacking on that, too, what you are seeing [00:14:00] is, of course everyone goes out there and borrows patterns and learns new things from new games and this, that and the other.

It is interesting to see,we are in the kind of early days of VR fitness, but it is interesting to see a lot of people are going out and barely tweaking experiences, right? Versus, and again, we’ll get into your your, stuff, butit’s just another kind of ” slash game”. Yeah, exactly.

Preston Lewis: So,really interested to talk about what you got coming up. But, last thing on the VR, AR side, are there any experiences there that you’ve seen are the best ones out there, specifically for VR, AR fitness?

Joshua Kozak: Yeah. I promise I’m not being paid to say this, but to me, Black Box VR is really setting a bar pretty high.

Just so it doesn’t sound like this is a paid promo, I’m gonna articulate in my own words “why”. So it’s the differentiation between a gamified fitness experience versus a fitness driven game. And I think that’s a really important distinction, because what you see most people in the market doing today, is they’re just taking normal exercise fitness and then they’re adding points, leaderboards and badges to it.

But that’s not a game. You’re gamifying fitness, but it’s just still fitness. Compared [00:15:00] to what Black Box VR is doing, which is, a game that happens to be driven by the fitness that you’re doing. I could play Black Box VR with a control in a traditional way, where you can’t say that about most VR fitness games that are just using, like, normal movements and just adding points to it.

Sothat’s what excites me, is that potential to take it to the next level and not just be a copycat arm swinger, rhythm game like some of the projects out there.

Ryan DeLuca: It definitely wasn’t a paid promo. But, what’s your Venmo again?

Joshua Kozak: Yeah, exactly.

Ryan DeLuca: You nailed it. I mean, that’s what’s our entire goal from the very beginning. It’s like, how do you make it actually a fun game first that you’d want to play and itch to come back, and thenadd on the fitness aspect to it from there. Make sure it’s an effective fitness program, of course, because I’d much rather just play the controller if I’m not gonna get the fitness results from it. So you gotta make sure that you’re getting both sides.

Joshua Kozak: Of course, yeah, of course. You gotta have both represented.

Preston Lewis: Yeah, awesome. So again, you’ve got all this history in the fitness space, a pioneer, you’ve tried all these VR, AR experiences, kind of been gathering these patterns, seeing how you can build your own product. And now you are starting a new [00:16:00] immersive fitness company called, is it Loodo?

Joshua Kozak: Yeah. Loodo. Loodo with a different spelling in Latin is to play. So I just kind of switched up the spelling there.

Ryan DeLuca: I was wondering if you use that.

Joshua Kozak: I wanna build the Fortnite of fitness, which, you know, is an ambitious goal. But you don’t accomplish large ambitions without having that goal. To start, it’s just a mobile fitness game using your body as the controller. Using computer vision technology to track your body and the movements that you do and give you credits for those movements. And so, the play’s kind of amix between an endless runner game and a role player game where you have sessions, levels, quests, and sessions start at five minutes a piece.

Cool. We saw the video post, I think it was on Twitter or something. We saw it pop up, looks super compelling. So, why start with mobile?

Joshua Kozak: You know, this was like something that I toiled with for quite some time. And, right now it’s, accessibility, is what it it comes down to.

You know, there’s the cost ofVR headsets, and then there’s still some motion sickness challenges for some users. And then the tracking requirements that I need.We’re like, early, you know,iPhone one phase of the hardware development lifecycle. [00:17:00] So for me,I’ve chosen to get the game out there and be able to provide a very similar experience to what I will eventually be able to deliver in AR, VR, but through mobile, and get and accelerate my learning.

So this way I can get it out, I can start learning, and then when the time is right, we can port the game over to AR, VR. And then I kind of alluded to it earlier, but the best analogy I have is the Netflix’s strategy, right? I mean, name d the company Netflix, they didn’t name it Mailbox Flick.

That was always the plan, but they had to wait for the technology to mature enough. It started just mail order, and then it was mostly mail order with like a fewstreaming options, again, as they waited for bandwidth to catch up. But then when bandwidth caught up, boom, they were in position to take off.

Joshua Kozak: So if I were to say “What playbook I’m, trying torun right now?”, that’s the playbook.

Preston Lewis: Yeah, that’s smart. And again, quick point to theaudience, all of this creation’s set in the context of what technologies are available. What you’re doing is basically you have this idea of, okay, the VR, AR industry is gonna be super powerful.Kind of lean startup wise, using what you [00:18:00] have, learning as quickly as you can, to iterate on the experience. That’s really smart. So, if you wanna talk about what problems is Loodo solving for?

Joshua Kozak: Yeah. You know, one we talked about before. The low hanging fruit, which is the motivation and consistency side, right? Trying to eliminate thecognitive requirements that exercise places on individuals at this point in time.

ButI’ll spend just a little longer talking about two others that maybe aren’t as obvious. One is young people. In our early customer research we havea lot of younger individuals that are super interested in what we’re doing. And we have a lot of parents of young people interested in signing up on the wait list for their kids, because they’re like, “My kids play too many video games and maybe this is a way I can actually get them to move.”

And then kids are interested as well. So, you know, like us older fellows that have been lifting weights and doing things a traditional way for quite some time, it’s a little harder to teach an old dog new tricks. Where the newer generation doesn’t have established habits yet. So with this young new generation I don’t have to change behaviors that may already exist. And then,the other thing that stood out in ourresearch is short bouts of movement throughout the day.

Loodo [00:19:00] can work two different ways. So again, the levels are five minutes. So you can either participate in six back-to-back five minute levels, and do a thirty minute full body workout. Or, if you work from your desk all day, like, you know, the three of us do, right? And like, “Oh shoot, my back doesn’t feel good. I got five minutes in between meetings. You know what? I wanna keep my streak alive.” You can turn Loodo on, knock out five minutes, get your points, get your streak going, and get back to your desk. So it also works for short bouts of movement that can be added to somebody’s existing workout routine without necessarily having to replace it as well, just to help them get more movement in throughout the day.

Preston Lewis: Smart. So, people that will benefit are, would you say kind ofthe general population, or would you say specifically the younger, early kinda adopters not having to change their behaviors and things?

Joshua Kozak: Yeah. You know, I’m a big fan of Show Me, Don’t Tell Me. And right now I only have Tell Me data. I don’t have Show Me data. But all the Tell Me data says that it’s actually a really wide range. We have people on our wait list from twelve years old up to eighty years old. Yeah, I mean,I’ll give you a stat.

Fifteen percent of the people on our waiting list are between sixty to eighty years old. So yeah, you know, it’sa problem [00:20:00] that people have all across the board. And so while, yes, I’m really looking to capture, that eighty percent of the people that aren’t exercising regularly. The other insight that we’ve learned is people that are exercising regularly, they don’t necessarily love what they’re doing. Yeah, they’ve built that habit, but that doesn’t mean that they’re enjoying it, you know? So they’re looking for something to keep it fresh and not boring, or additive to what they’re already doing, just to get more movement throughout the day, or on off days.

Preston Lewis: True. Good point. Well, so what specifically makes Exergaming so powerful, right? So you’re you’re specifically going to Exergaming, what are you seeing as the things that make it so powerful?

I kind of alluded to this earlier, but I think it’simportant to double down on it, which is that it’s not just adding points, badges on the leaderboard.

Joshua Kozak: That doesn’t make it a game, if you will. So instead, it’s all the behavioral design elements that are gonna make that positive impact. It’sthe craft of deriving all the fun and engaging elements found in games, and applying them to exercise, so that people are pulled into exercise versus having to be pushed into.

You know, that’s a keydistinction. I mentioned having to go get a session in later. [00:21:00] I’m gonna have to push myself into that. It’s not like being pulled into it, like where I go do a thirty minute XBox session. Like those are two totally different things. To me, that’s what makes it so powerful, it’s that push versus pull.

Ryan DeLuca: That’s such a good point. We talk a lot at Black Box about the hooked model, how people create habits around new products. And you probablyheard of it, the book by Nir. It kinda made me think about what we talked about earlier with HASfit is, you said, “You don’t know where they are before they press play on your video.” Right? Today’s video, you only know them when they hit play, when they did the workout? And there’s not much going in between all of that, right? So if hitting play is basically like the action, right, from the hooked model. Then after that, there’s gotta be a variable reward. And usually with workout streaming services, you do get a little bit of a reward. Obviously you feel good about yourself and dopamine and endorphins, and things like that from doing the workout. But you also get a lot of negative, you get the pain of the workout, you’re tired, you sacrificed time you could have been doing something else.

You know, there’s the investment that they’ve given into this, and you get something back from it. A lot of times, these streaming services, once again, you might have invested into your tracking, right? So now I’ve got my streak, I’ve got some calorie burning there, and I’ve invested that. [00:22:00] And then there’s gotta be some kind of trigger to bring them back, right? So the whole idea is there’s a trigger that brings you back into it.

Games are really good, especially mobile games, right? They’re so good about push notification; you need to come back in, because you need to do this thing or this timer just got done. Or a normal game you’re gonna play with your friends, or there’s a tournament or something fun going on. Doing that action and then getting that reward. Where, it sounds like with Loodo, the goal, as with really good Exergaming type of systems, is to complete that loop versus just the action phase.

How do you feel about that and,have you seen that, that seems to make sense?

That aligns with the way I’m thinking as well. I think Nir does some really good stuff. If we’re talking about behavioral design, my favorite, researcher is Ukai Chao, if you, get to read his actionable insights.

Joshua Kozak: Yeah,I tell us this framework. So, very similar in that understanding, how we can bring people along, and really just get people to perform therequirements of the game, which in this case is exercise, without having a deep cognitive load about it.

You know, the thing I mentioned, too, earlier… the big problem with exercise is it takes too long to see results. In this way, we can get you in, and five minutes in you’re seeing results. You’re getting points, you [00:23:00] leveled up, you went through like three, four achievements.

Like, “Oh, I saw results right away.” And so there are different type of result, but we’re already able to reward. And then, the goal is that we get you in long enough where then like, “Holy cow, wait a minute, there’s a whole another result happening with my physical real body here, not just in the app.”

So we have to keep people hooked, if you will, to use like Nir’s word, long enough to see those real world results. And that’s the power this type of design enables.

Preston Lewis: That’s such a good point. We talk about that all the time. It’s so true, because even if you know everything about fitness and eating, it takes so long to actually see results, right? To actually see that dopamine splash of progress. And as you guys are mentioning, video games are the opposite, right? You are in Legends of Zelda or something, and you have your little sword and you hit the first little chest and boom, first dopamine. And then being able to not only track that progress, but be able to string those little wins together.

I think we’re all saying it, but that’s what we’re also seeing that’s the most powerful with Exergaming, because even in our personal lives… a family member, right? I have a lot of family members that know we are in the fitness industry and they’re like, “Hey, can you please help me [00:24:00] out?”

And in the past it’s been like, okay, cool. “Here’s your nutrition plan. Here’s what you need to do every single day.” And then without a doubt, without fail, two weeks in, they’re like, ” I’m heavier on the scale. What’s going on?” Becasue now they’re retaining water, and they’re like, “I give up.”

Joshua Kozak: Building muscle.

Yep. And they don’t get it. And,to your guys’ point, the Exergaming side of that, allows us to shorten those feedback loops and get people hooked, to where they look down, maybe they have their abs coming in and they’ve actually created a healthy habit. I’m gonna take thirty more seconds on this, because I can’t help myself. . And just say that, our brains 200 years ago were used to long feedback cycles, right? We were farming, we plant the seeds in the Spring and we harvest in the Fall. Like, we’re used to things taking a long time.

Everything takes a long time. “I’ve been hunting for a week and I haven’t caught anything, because I only catch something once every ten days. And then I get to meet whatever.” Right? That’s the way we were programmed. But now, more than ever, even the difference in three to four years from Instagram being the number one top dog to TikTok being the number one top dog.

Even that is like an instant gratification change, right? It’s just faster, and faster, and faster. So the way that we are wiring all of our [00:25:00] brains, inadvertently, is not set up for success when it comes to expectations on exercise.

Preston Lewis: Great point.

Well, we covered a lot of great stuff today, really appreciate it. But I’d like to finish up with, where do you think VR, AR fitness, Exergaming… where’s it gonna go in the next, three to five years? And what’s next for you and Loodo? I think really, hopefully as we kind of alluded to moving past just rhythm games, and moving into more full-fledged games, developers are gonna start using all the tools that they have accessible to them to evolve those fitness VR experiences.

Joshua Kozak: And then I think, as this, let’s call it Great Land Grab, New Land Grab, that always happens with any new technology, every exercise modality will be represented and gamified in some way, right?

There’s gonna be a Pilates VR game, there’s gonna be The Yoga, there’s gonna be The HIIT, so the individual modalities will start being represented. The game can add value to that modality. So I see that really expanding.

And then again, along with theadoption of VR, AR headsets technology adopts, in parallel to it. And so what does that mean for Loodo? Well, Loodo right now is in obviously the [00:26:00] early learning phases and we’re trying to understand exactlyhow we can leverage these game mechanics that we’ve been talking about to get people movingwith mobile, and then expanding to AR and VR experiences. I see an opportunity for both of those. And again, leaning towards the home user, the individual with limited to no equipment, just making it the lowest barrier to entry, making it as accessible as possible. And for those that want to check it out, learn more, you can go to GetLoodo, that’s GetLoodo.com, to join the wait list.

Preston Lewis: Awesome. That’s so great. That’s all the time we have, we’re a little bit over, but such great stuff. Really appreciate you being here. And to our audience, as you know, we’ll put the URL you mentioned, Josh, in the show notes, as well as anycontact information to get in touch with Josh.Thanks again for being here.

Ryan DeLuca: Yep. Really appreciate it. You get this in a way that I think everybody’s gonna get it soon, right? Video games, the psychology of video games and these new technologies that allow us to use those technologies for fitness.

And, uh, make sure you get that Venmo about the nice word you said about Black Box.

Joshua Kozak: I’ll get that over to you.

Ryan DeLuca: Yeah. Make sure.

Joshua Kozak: It’s [00:27:00] been a pleasure, all. Thank you so much.

Preston Lewis: Thanks so much, Josh.

Thanks for listening to the VR Fitness Insider podcast. Do you know of anyone that should be on our show or have feedback? Don’t forget to email us at podcast vr fitness insider.com and follow us at VR Fitness Insider on Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. You can also join our Discord channel. Until next time, keep creating and dreaming up the next big thing that will revolutionize the world of fitness.