Marking the 5th anniversary of RNT is a rather special and poignant moment! Akash's vision of creating the world’s best online fitness transformation platform is well on its way. But it wasn’t just born overnight.
“Deciding to create a disruptive business in the fitness industry has been the best and hardest thing I have ever done. It has taken years of blood, sweat, tears, sleepless nights, research, study, self-reflection and personal growth to make it happen!”
Over these last five years, RNT’s purpose has changed and evolved. What started with quite a basic structure has metamorphosed into a mission to see a world transformed!
From Counting Reps To Total Transformation
After a few years of working the gym floor as a PT, Akash came to realise the innate problems within the fitness industry.
He saw the trainers working so hard but with no job security. If they didn’t work, they didn’t get paid! There was no work-life balance and most trainers had to sacrifice time with their families and sorely missed quality time with their loved ones.
“I knew that I had to do something to change this. I also wanted to be more than just a human rep counter!
When I was at university I was working on my own physique and a couple of good friends allowed me to experiment on them! After some time, I found I was giving them advice, tips and tricks over the phone and online! This was completely for free! I did it because I loved it. Looking back I realise now that I was coaching people online way before online training was even a thing.
I have always had an instinct for business. Even when I was in secondary school I would sell protein tubs out the boot of my car! Putting together a good business plan always excited me. And when I witnessed first hand the troubles that were intrinsic in the fitness industry, I knew what I had to do - I decided to take my passion for business and fitness and put them together.”
The Switch From Fast Results To Long-term Results
In 2017 when RNT was launched the purpose was simple. We wanted to get people into jaw dropping condition FAST. To reflect that, RNT was an acronym for Results Now Training. It was a great representation of what we promised to deliver - getting people beach lean, with popping abs as quickly as possible.
The switch from fast results to a more holistic, longterm transformation happened after Akash realised that most of his clients ended up back at square one after all of that hard work!
“I saw them go through the same thing that happened to me when I had my terrible rebound after my bodybuilding competition. And I didn’t want that, I wanted to show all our members the safe passage home! I wanted to show them how to stay in the shape of their life, for life.”
That was when the Five Phases were created - the blueprint that would become the foundation of RNT’s methodology.
The Evolution of The RNT Blueprint
Getting in shape is easy but staying in shape is a whole different ball game. So Akash decided to reflect on his own fitness journey and set it down as a framework that would apply for all RNTers.
“Everyone's journey is predictable. It’s unique in how it unfolds, with the struggles and highlights appearing in different areas, but it still follows a set trajectory. I realised that I had to create a plan that would work for busy, time-strapped individuals with less than average genetics, because that was essentially what I was and it had worked for me. Writing the book helped to crystallise it.”
The Origins Of ‘Physical Is The Vehicle’
Every RNTer has experienced the incredible benefits of getting into the shape of their life. The aesthetic results are of course amazing but the true result is in the positive impact it has had on their life.
But this wasn’t apparent at the start!
“After about 18 months, when I started to speak to our members about how they felt physically, the answers blew me away!
Yes, everyone looked great but the real difference was in how they FELT. Careers had skyrocketed, relationships had blossomed, confidence levels had soared! Everybody’s mental health and emotional well-being was at the best it had ever been!”
This incredible “side-effect” then switched to the main driver - we saw first hand that optimum physical fitness has the power to unlock everyone’s true potential!
The Biggest Challenges Of Business
Building a business in a tough and competitive space like fitness is not a walk in the park.
“It’s been really tough getting to the 5 year mark. It has really been the hardest thing I have done and has been the best personal development tool. With the often cut-throat nature of business, I’ve had to develop a really thick skin. There’s definitely been more than a few hairy moments!
The hardest part has been to deal with people. And I have learnt that you have to work with people whose values align with yours. If values aren’t aligned with people you work with then it wont work. And to survive you really need to have people who have your back - my wife Chandni, my parents, the core RNT team and some of my best friends stayed with me and told me to keep pushing through the challenges.”
Bodybuilding Helped Build Resilience
Akash has always thrived on setting the bar high and pushing himself to the limit. Failure has never been an option and the obstacles have never deterred his drive.
“When I was bodybuilding I almost had this sadistic need to see how far I could push myself. It’s that same drive to push myself to the absolute maximum and then push some more that has helped me grow this business. I am resilient and I am relentless in my pursuit towards self-mastery both in business and in my own personal growth.”
Business In The Blood
Entrepreneurship is part of Akash’s DNA.
“My mother runs her own business and I have seen her struggles and I have seen her push past through so many challenges and that has always inspired me. My grandfather was a businessman; he came to the UK as a refugee from Uganda and while in a refugee camp he sold essentials to others in the camp, and later on he went on to set up his own shop.”
Akash’s family history with business gave him the courage to push past the trials and build a business that is slowly transforming the world.
There are always challenges in building a business but the highs always outweigh the lows.
“Celebrating the small wins have always been difficult but looking back there have been some amazing moments.
Publishing Shyam’s transformationreally put RNT on the map. It is a shining example of what can be achieved with average genetics. Krishan Khanna, who won the first giveaway lost 55 kilos and his story changed the way we thought about transformation. Seeing his career and relationships soar was really incredible.”
Second Year Celebration
“Hitting year 2 meant we were here to stay and seeing so many RNTers in a London club celebrating together was such an amazing moment.”
Building Career Paths For Fitness Professionals
Akash’s experience as a PT on the gym floor had opened his eyes to the demanding and unforgiving hours that were expected of all the fitness professionals. He saw first hand his colleagues trying hard but failing to build a happy work-life balance.
“When I started RNT one of the major motivations was to build a platform for fitness professionals to build a career. I wanted to provide job security and career progression and change the perception that being a fitness professional was not a viable career choice.
When Ed joined us, he felt so jaded about the fitness industry he was on the verge of quitting and starting a whole new career! Now, he is our Head of Performance and also leads our Tech Development. His input is vital in making Pro the most comprehensive health and fitness platform ever.
Before RNT, Ivan had been working 3 jobs with no job stability. Today, Ivan is our Head of Applied Research. He brings to the table a wealth of knowledge on health and nutrition and is the lead on all of our education and research.
One of the best parts of what I do is seeing my team develop, and giving them a real runway to grow and make a life changing impact globally.
To see how Ed and Ivan have come in and shaped one of the most comprehensive training and nutrition curriculums and helped create a platform that brings about the best results in terms of quality is just incredible! Today, they are integral to the smooth functioning of RNT.”
“Moving away from the small-scale smurf-blue branding to the amazing international fitness transformation platform has been so special.”
Putting together our combined knowledge and creating a custom-built platform that addresses all aspects of fitness has been amazing!
Next Five Years
As Akash enters his 30s he wants to stay true to his desire of being an active father as he starts his family.
For RNT, the next few years will be dedicated to creating solid structures for operations and delivery that would be essential in creating a sustainable work environment without compromising on quality.
The team will continue to execute relentlessly to build a one-of-a-kind holistic fitness transformation platform.
“I am grateful to every RNTer who has put their faith in us and helped us build something incredible. Thank you for being a part of this and being a part of this first five years. The next five will be even better!”
This episode on RNT Fitness Radio is a special one. Tune in to listen to this behind the scenes conversation between Chandni and Akash talking about the highs and lows of RNT’s first five years in the fitness industry. Akash talks about THE best decision he’s made over the past five years, how he coined the phrase ‘physical is the vehicle’ and more! If you love everything that RNT stands for, you wouldn’t want to miss this one.