We recently interviewed Chris Rea, founder of ReaShape and inventor of a speed bag platform that fits in any doorway — EZspeedbag. He likes to work out anytime, anywhere, whether it’s at his home in New York or on an adventure in Spain. Keep reading to learn more about Chris, his company, and EZSpeedbag.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I am a fitness fanatic — it’s all I think about. I like to take the hard way and work out until I’m on the brink of exhaustion. The sport of wrestling really opened up the world for me. I was a New York Golden Gloves boxer, a two-time NCAA All-American collegiate wrestler, and an MMA fighter. Wrestling really opened my eyes to the nutritional aspect of fitness.
Aside from fitness, I love traveling to different countries and learning about different cultures. My family immigrated from Spain, so they really instilled my love for abroad in me. Traveling has helped me learn a lot, which in turn has led me to enjoy teaching others.
Can you tell us about your product, EZspeedbag, and how you came up with the idea?
I was bored, standing in a doorway and thought, “Why hasn’t anyone made an easy setup speed bag that fits under a doorway?” A lot of people like using a speed bag, but they don’t put it in their house because it takes a lot of work to set up. That’s how I came up with the EZspeedbag — a lightweight, compact, portable speed bag platform that fits in any doorway. This way, people don’t have to worry about the intimidation of going to a boxing gym, they can get a great, fun workout from anywhere.
How is your product and approach to fitness different than others?
My approach to fitness is really two words: “fun” and “customized”. When I was a personal trainer, I had a lot of fun with my clients. What I noticed was if I told them what to do, they would only do it for so long. I started asking my clients what they like. If they liked dancing or tennis, I encouraged them to go dancing or play tennis for their cardio. I noticed they started getting better results when I gave them a lot of options.
I don’t believe in hardcore training. I tell my clients that they won’t look 100% with me, they will look 90% but will maintain it for the rest of their life. I’ve been at that 100% before and it didn’t last because I was overworking myself. Fitness is about longevity. A majority of the clientele out there are regular, working people that want to get in shape, but have no interest in competing. A lot of the fitness programs out there are all about “go hard or go home”. In my opinion, these extreme fitness programs are not effective in the long term and they are only good for competing athletes.
How am I different? I make fitness fun and I really customize it to fit my clients’ lifestyles. I’m not just writing diets and putting people through workouts, I give my clients fitness and food options and I work with their work schedule and goals for their lifestyle.
You’ve mentioned that you go to your customer’s houses if they are having problems with setting up or using their equipment.
Yeah, I really care about my customers and their progress and that is a part of caring. You name it and I’ll do it. I know how frustrating it can be to be a beginner who isn’t happy with the product and gets a runaround when they try to contact the company for help. I run a no B.S. company. I really care about my clients and I offer a money-back guarantee and a lifetime warranty for all of my products. I don’t do it because I want to make money, it’s just how I am in life. Overall, it’s all about integrity.
Are there any new ReaShape products on the horizon?
Yes, there are.
There is the ReaGym, which is going to be a worldwide game changer. This will replace the elastic band systems. It’s an adjustable resistance cable that you wear. It’s a full body workout and it will weigh about 3 pounds. I also have a fitness station coming out. It’s a lightweight aluminum folding workout station that you can set it up in your yard, garage or house. It combines body weight workouts with boxing. I am also working on customizable workouts. They say I am also working on customizable workouts. They say CrossFit is functional training, but to jump five feet in the air is good — if you are a basketball player. The functional training I’m going to teach is improving your body and learning fighting skills. It will be about improving your body and defending yourself.