December 8, 2009 by Angela Shupe  /

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As nice as it would be to visit the gym daily, that is one routine that doesn’t always fit into the average day. For some it is simply a lack of time, for others it is a lack of money. Either way, it is still important to make time for some exercise.

Ari Zandman-Zeman had a slightly different problem. When he joined the Peace Corps there was no gym to visit for his exercise needs. Rather than give up, he bought some resistance bands and created his own exercise routine that helped him stay in shape away from all the gym equipment he was originally used to.

No longer in the Peace Corps, Ari has ventured into a new chapter in his life: entrepreneur. He has fine tuned his exercise routine and now he’s helping others find the same freedom to exercise anywhere, office or home, through Rubberbanditz. He currently offers his own exercise routine, resistance bands, and accessories.

Tell us a little about Rubberbanditz.

Rubberbanditz is an alternative fitness company that markets ‘mobile gym’ packages aiming to eliminate any limitations one may have from exercising.

The unique circular design of our bands allow for a broad range of different exercises and lend themselves to workouts rooted in strength training, toning, cardio, balance and flexibility.

What inspired your business?

After playing Division 1 basketball, I followed my lifelong desire and joined the Peace Corps. While volunteering in the Eastern Caribbean I had no access to any gym or training facilities on my island so I began experimenting with resistance bands. Restless energy and the necessity of finding a dynamic strength-training program were the driving forces behind the creation of Rubberbanditz.

What was your first exercise band like? How has it evolved from idea to now?

We used traditional tube-style bands in for agilities and plyometric drills in the athletic department at the University of Northern Colorado. After three years of trial and error I discovered the unique qualities of circular bands and quickly realized the added benefits the design provides.

What are some of the benefits that come with using an exercise band?

- Lighter than free-weights; if you drop a band on yourself, you’ll barely feel a thing.

- Easy to use for youth, seniors and people with disabilities.

- Economical, costing less than monthly gym membership fees.

- Maneuverable, so you can easily control the resistance.

- Portable, allowing you to workout anytime and anywhere.

- Effective, increase muscle strength and decrease body fat.

What separates you from the competition?

The superior design of our bands set them apart from conventional tubed-bands or Therabands. Our circular bands are manufactured as a continuous layered elastic strip which means there are no starting or stopping points where the band has been fused together. This provides both unparalleled durability and a broad range of exercise options that can’t be duplicated by the other bands.

By employing a triple bottom line approach, we use a portion of the proceeds to construct exercise band gyms in underprivileged communities as a way to promote personal health and hygiene on a global scale. We also donate all returned and excess supplies to a local non-profit, The Scrap Exchange, for reuse and arts and crafts projects.

As a new business I know you haven’t had much time to reach many milestones. What goals do you hope to accomplish before you reach 1 year? What are some of your long term goals?

After the first year of operation, I hope to hire two more employees and reach our break-even point.

Within three-four years, I hope to delegate all managerial tasks to employees and dedicate myself to building free exercise band gyms in Latin American communities.

Have you always seen yourself as an entrepreneur?

As a youngster growing up in Alaska, I would go around and shovel driveways in the winter and mow lawns in the summer for spending money. From then on I knew I was destined to be an entrepreneur.

What is the hardest part of running a business?

It’s difficult to wake up in the morning and know that everything rests on my shoulders. If I don’t pound the pavement that day then the business stagnates. Seeing my depleting bank account while being hit with unforeseen costs is also hard to swallow.

Do you have any tips or tricks that you think would help fellow entrepreneurs that are just getting started?

  • Don’t fall prey to the ‘normal’ way to live your life if you know deep inside that you want something different.
  • Trust your judgment above all else but seek insight from those who have paved the way.
  • Don’t ever think you know everything. Complacency is the kiss of death.