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Everything To GAIN

GAIN-storyimage-102x83.jpgWorking out but getting nowhere? No time or money for a personal trainer? Nicholas Gammell (MBA '04) has your answer.

The Tepper School alum is the co-founder of GAIN Fitness, a free web and mobile app.

"We like to say we're 'appifying' personal training," explained Gammell. "We provide the capability for anyone to access personal-trainer-quality workouts that are customized to their real-time needs, including fitness profile, equipment and available time."

Since its launch nine months ago, GAIN Fitness now has more than 150,000 users. So how does it succeed in the burgeoning fitness space?

"Personal trainers know that people need three things to get results — motivation, accountability and personalized guidance," said Gammell. "Other fitness apps hit accountability or motivation, but no one's taken a big stab at the hardest part — personalized guidance."

"Our system can generate more than 60 trillion workouts. Other sites might have 100 workouts but they're still off the shelf — not real-time, customized. At GAIN Fitness, that's where we started."

Or that's where Gammell started when, just six months after graduation, he cobbled together a rudimentary Excel model. Traveling as a new Deloitte consultant, the former CMU football player recognized the need to work fitness into a hectic lifestyle.

Gammell's is an example of the type of story behind Greenlighting Startups, a coalition of campus incubator groups designed to accelerate the university's already impressive record of turning campus innovations into sustainable new businesses.

"It's absolutely fantastic," said Gammell of the initiative. "It's definitely something I would have jumped on."

And he couldn't be more appreciative of his own school connection.

"I've really been eager to tell the story because I think Carnegie Mellon is such a vital part," he said. "It's all directly related to my CMU experience — from playing football and training, to my quantitative and modeling classes, to how it shaped my view of the world."

"Everything about the interdisciplinary, technology-focused style of education at CMU has allowed me to be successful in my career to-date and in building GAIN Fitness."

"What really differentiates our startup is it's very cross-functional nature, with a quantitative analyst, a software engineer, and a personal trainer. It wouldn't have been possible without CMU."

Gammell would like to strengthen the connection.

"We very much want to find and would happily hire CMU students," he added. "It's a great program for so many things — design, software engineering, computer science and more."


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Mark D. Burd

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