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INTERVIEW: Richard Decker On Any Where, Any Time Fitness (AWATfit) Franchise

T.J. Clemente

Richard Decker demonstrates an exercise. (Courtesy Photo)

When talking to Richard Decker, who has leveraged more than 30 years of experience in the physical fitness industry to develop what he calls AWATfit (Any Where, Any Time Fitness), his confidence that he is "in the right place at the right time," is uplifting. He is excited about his mobile gym concept that is built out of the back of a 20-foot pickup truck and brought directly to clients at their homes, the beach, or elsewhere. With an influx of requests due to fears around working out indoors during Covid-19, Decker is launching the franchise of his business model. Richard Decker knows he has a winner in his AWATfit.

Decker, who was raised in Rockville Center, but moved out East to Southampton in 1982, stressed, "After owning several brick-and-mortar gyms in the area, I saw a strong opportunity to disrupt the stagnant fitness marketplace and grow fast. As Covid has deeply impacted many traditional gyms, I saw the future of fitness going mobile. By eliminating the brick-and-mortar element of gym ownership, my AWATfit concept dramatically slashes overhead and organically expands the brand's marketing footprint - as the truck not only serves as a gym, but also a key marketing tool with high visibility."

His goal is to add 1,000 franchisees domestically and abroad, starting with his home base, Long Island. He said, "I am finishing up a franchise truck to leave for Texas perhaps this week and I have two going to Michigan right behind that. I will have three corporate trucks (locally) to use at Sag Harbor Park as a home base for classes and East Hampton Indoor Tennis as another home base and I am working on a few other locations. I will put a truck in the morning hours at Long Beach and then that truck will move remotely to do other people's events and parties."

Decker with an AWATfit truck. (Courtesy Photo)

Decker continued, "My son Harley [Decker] is a pretty engineer minded kid who is doing his underwater mining degree right now. He designed and collaborated with me and then we went to Liberty Iron of Southampton and collaborated with them, we built the racks, then I went to the Southampton Ram dealership where my brother Jay is affiliated, so we got a great deal and here we are!"

He explained the growth, "In the first year, we did $250,000. Now we have doubled that and we are bringing two more trucks online, plus our franchise business is growing especially due to the Coronavirus environment, the gyms are not opening anytime soon. I feel I got out of the brick-and-mortar gym business at the right time. I call it luck and preparation for luck."

The fitness industry veteran explained the opportunity of working out outside saying, "The three reasons scientifically proven are that if you work out outdoors it improves your energy, improves your mood while increasing your energy and reduces depression."

The AWATfit franchise idea centers around a customized truck outfitted with 20 workout stations, including bungee runs, TRX, Gorilla Bow, HELM, weighted ropes and balls, pull-up bars and more. With AWATfit, Decker has utilized his expertise to create an innovative and revolutionary fitness concept, thus launching its first franchise model in 2020.

For more information, visit www.awatfit.com.

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