The online and remote fitness boom is here to stay: Celebrity Trainer

Ngo Okafor, Owner & Founder of Iconoclast, joined Yahoo Finance to discuss 2021 fitness trends.

Video Transcript

SEANA SMITH: The new year, so you know what that means-- New Year's resolutions. And year after year, one of the most popular ones is always just getting in shape. So for more on that, we want to bring in Ngo Okafor. He's owner and founder of Iconoclast.

And Ngo, great to have you on the show. This year, I would think, is a little bit different clearly, compared to prior years. Just, we're in the midst of the pandemic right now. I'm curious how the virus has changed the way people are thinking about health and people are-- and I guess, how people are approaching fitness in the new year.

NGO OKAFOR: Well, people are approaching fitness slightly differently than they did in the past. Like, they're looking to work out at home, a lot of virtual sessions with-- they're still doing one on ones. They're doing one on ones and doing it virtually through Facetime, WhatsApp, or Zoom. And they're also looking into the different apps that are available to do workouts at home.

So, people are not super excited to come into a gym, into a space that's indoors with other people and, you know, for risk of infection. So people are still-- they're still wanting to work out. They're still excited to have fitness be part of their New Year's resolutions, but they are doing it differently, more from home and not as much in the gym.

ADAM SHAPIRO: I think we need to point out, too, that you trained some of the most famous people on the planet-- I mean, J.Lo, Brooke Shields, Naomi Campbell. So when you came up with this idea, how did you figure out plebeians, not the patricians of the society, how did you figure out what we would want? Because these are essentially body perfect individuals, right?

NGO OKAFOR: Yeah. Yes, but they still have to work hard. And they're still human beings with insecurities and desires to continue to look better. And they're in the public eye. They're in the entertainment business. So the pressure is on to stay looking, quote unquote, "perfect."

You know, so I created my system, my style of training because I understand and I know that from years of training clients, 99% of people that walk into gyms want to look better. So I focused on creating a system of a training system that caters directly to giving people results and giving them results quickly. Because once people get results, they get excited, and they want to get even more results. And they want to commit. And they basically fall in love with the results and then fall in love with fitness.

SEANA SMITH: Now I know it's very, very different, Ngo, but I have to ask about the rise of Peloton. Because we've seen this shift, and we mentioned it before just in consumer behavior. I'm wondering, just from your perspective-- clearly, in the industry, you know a lot more about this-- do you see this type of trend sticking, or is this something that you think two or three years from now, people are going to revert to what they were doing before the pandemic?

NGO OKAFOR: Well, what I see is a rise in options. Now if someone doesn't want to-- doesn't have the energy to go to the gym, they'll do Peloton. You know, so now they have options. They can do stuff at home, in addition to going to the gym. If they don't want to go to the gym, they'll stay at home.

So I think that both will stick because before Peloton, before apps that you can do at home, you have to get up and go to a gym to work out with a trainer. You have to be in the presence of other people. So if you wake up and you don't feel like going anywhere, you just want to be at home, you can take a Peloton class. You don't have to go to the gym.

Or you can-- you know, Apple or any other platform. I'm actually launching my own subscription-based platform because a lot of my clients are international. A lot of them live-- you know, they're not in this city. They didn't come back to the city. So they're either in the Hamptons, or they actually moved to Europe or in Connecticut or just outside the city in the different homes they have. This way, I can continue to engage with my clients and continue to get them results. So I feel that from here on out, it's going to stay. It's going to stick.

SEANA SMITH: All right, Ngo Okafor, great to have you on the show. Thanks so much for taking the time to join us, owner and founder of Iconoclast.