12/06/2005: "$14,615 Part Deux: The DVD"
If you got all the way through Part One, you'll remember that I concluded that the ROM should work in improving my fitness, and that I need to get someone else to pay for it. That was before the DVD arrived in the mail late last week. I've only watched it once, but that was enough. It's settled, then:
I am going to get a ROM.
The only questions that remain are: how? and when?
The first half of the DVD is kind of infomercial schmaltzy. It's made of snippets of day shows and interviews showing talk show hosts working out or fitness gurus extoling the virtues of the ROM machine. Nothing exactly convincing there, but it does show that this machine has had its fair share of attention in the media.
The salient portion of the DVD is the last half, where two segments are devoted to interviewing people that use the ROM, and video of people at a fitness convention trying the machine for the first time. These interviews are what really sells the machine. (YMMV.)
First is a parade of people: young, old, skinny, beluga-esque, male, female - a cross-section of middle-class society. Each person gives their age, and tells a little bit about what the ROM has done for them. The list is quite impressive: more strength, more flexibility, more energy, better sleep, more alertness, improved concentration, increased muscle mass, improved muscle tone, fat loss... the list goes on. Everyone from teenagers to septigenerians use the machine, and are quite happy to promote its benefits.
But wait, there's more! Everyday Joes don't really know squat about a proper workout, right? That's where the interviews go into talking to personal trainers. One trainer is shown working out on a ROM for the first time. After four minutes of upper-body workout, he's a convert. Four minutes later after a lower-body workout, there's no question - the ROM works. One trainer goes so far as to purchase a ROM and donate the rest of his entire gym - thousands of dollars of equipment - to a local firestation.
The absolute best footage is taken from a fitness convention. Conventioneers are invited to do a four-minute workout, at the exact end of which they are videoed and all asked the same questions: "Did you get a cardio workout?" "Did you get a muscle workout equivalent to 45 minutes circuit strength training?" "Did you get 15 to 20 minutes' worth of stretching in 4 minutes?" Each time a sweaty fitness enthusiast gives the same answer: "*pant* *pant* Yes!... *pant* *wipe*"
I must admit that my assumptions about the machine were wrong. I figured there was no way it would work my pecs, delts, glutes, and a whole bunch of other muscles. Apparently, I'm wrong. It works them all, from the abs and lower back, to the middle back, to the shoulders, pecs, arms, the whole nine yards. So I've no need to re-engineer the machine. (If anything, I have to figure a way around the patent so I can produce it myself for a much lower cost and get it out into the mainstream.)
Where does that leave me? Crunching numbers. Figuring out how best to open a fitness center based around the ROM. (I already pitched the idea of owning a fitness center to my dad, and he said no. That's OK, I've been told sales is all about hearing "no" until you finally hear "yes". So I got my first "no" from him, and eventually I'll show him the video and see if that changes his answer.) I suppose I could just ask about a 4 Minute Gym franchise, and that may yet be the way to go. Obviously there's a business plan that works, I'd just like to try to figure it out for myself first.
For now, I've got two proposals. The first would be a gym for anyone and everyone. Pay your membership fee, come in and work out on a ROM. That could work, but I'd likely need a large membership pool to be profitable. My other idea is to jack the prices way, way up into the stratosphere and cater (almost literally) to a much more limited, elite clientelle. Restrict memberships to a certain number and go after only the on-the-go jet-setter that has money but no time.
Why am I so geared up about this? My health is at stake, the way I see it. Unless I figure out how to get 30 minutes a day of exercise of some form in, my health is going to deteriorate (proportionally to the expansion of my waist and ass). Even if I manage to walk for 30 minutes a day, that's going to do nothing for my strength or muscle tone, or even my flexibility. No, I want to improve it all, and I'm going to find a way to make a case for it one way or the other.
One way I might be able to make purchasing a ROM more manageable is to lease. Bob owns a company that does big rig leasing. Once in a while, the company will lease a car as well. The ROM costs pretty much the same as a new small car (over $17K once converted to Canadian funds), but should have a much better residual value than any new small car. I see no reason I should't be able to sweet talk him into leasing a ROM to me. A ten-year lease with zero residual (equivalent to a 10-year loan) would result in a monthly cost of under $200, depending on the lease rate. That's more than a gym membership would be for a family, but gives you a full workout in four minutes at home. If I can start making some good money, this might be the way I go.
This story certainly isn't finished. I am determined to get a ROM, or access to a ROM, somehow. The only questions will be "when?" and "how?" for a while, but I'll keep working on answering those questions. It's just a matter of time.