Omar Yunes on Why Tough Love Gets Results in Fitness

Omar Yunez .

Typical business sense goes out the window when it comes to getting committed program participants, says CEO Omar Yunes.

MIAMI, FL, UNITED STATES, November 29, 2021 / —
Most companies practically beg their customers to sign up and will do just about anything to keep them around. This is not the case at 54D, and recent comments by CEO Omar Yunes explain why. Though it might seem contrary to business sense, the non-apologetic approach of high standards and intense expectations is what gets impressive results for the gym’s participants.

The program demands are intense, and participants are ousted if they don’t stay fully committed. Staying on track for 54 days is a serious challenge. Those who aren’t on time or even lack dedication to the program are kicked out, says Omar Yunes.

“A lot of investors get nervous about this idea,” he explains. “They think flexibility and accommodation are the best ways to keep paying members on board. They love it when people pay for memberships month after month and don’t even show up to use the equipment. That is not what we are about. We want results, and we are demanding more. It can seem like a bad business move, but we are attracting exactly the audience we want around us—highly committed and motivated people who are ready to see a change.”

He says there are no mix-and-match programs or options to just sign in at your leisure. According to Omar Yunes, they aren’t even hard-selling former clients to repeat for the next round. “We’re not here for recurring revenue,” he continues. “We’re here to get a result.”

54D is charging more than other gyms, but they are offering a heavily guided approach. When pro soccer player and 54D creator Rodrigo Garduño opened his first location in Mexico City nine years ago, the response was so big that he had to have tryouts to whittle down the crowds. “Hundreds were showing up for just 30 spots,” recalls Omar Yunes. “They all knew the opportunity was going to be huge. He would only choose the most committed.”

By 2017, 54D opened a second location in Bogotá, Columbia. By 2019, they had opened the first location in the states in Coral Gables, Florida. While the pandemic disrupted business, they were back up in Florida by June 2020. By October 2020, a fourth location was opened in Miami. There are plans to further expand to Hallandale, New York City and Los Angeles within the next year.

According to Yunes, eight weeks is enough time for people to make permanent healthy habit changes. “We kick out the slackers to keep them from infecting the rest of the group,” he notes. “It doesn’t happen often, but the threat is very real. The nature of this program turns a bunch of strangers into a fitness team. And you can’t let your team down.”

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