You’re bathed in orange light. The music is loud and invigorating. The coach gives you the go-ahead.

“Let’s push it!”

You turn up your treadmill speed and raise the incline as the music picks up. Now, the sweat really starts to break.

This is the pace all day, every day at Orangetheory Fitness — and it’s one of the most unique and exciting fitness experiences in the world.

The franchise is rapidly growing, which is an impressive feat in the competitive fitness and health club industry. In fact, according to 2015 research from Statista, the global fitness industry generates more than $80 billion in revenue every year.

If you’re interested in finding work in sports, fitness jobs might be the perfect ‘fit’ for you, especially if you are passionate about your own physical fitness.  

To get a better understanding of how to find work in sports and fitness, we spoke to Paul Reuter, the Vice President of Sales and AR development for Orangetheory Fitness.

Here’s what he had to say:

Why Orangetheory

Since 2010, Orangetheory Fitness has exploded in popularity. Just this year, they signed their 1,000th franchise agreement. They also plan to open 70 studios throughout the UK in the next ten years.

Reuter has been with the company for more than six years. And it all started with his love for fitness and admiration of their leadership team:

One of the things I found most interesting when I first heard of Orangetheory Fitness was the workout. I took a class as part of my interview process.

A concept is one thing, but the execution is what makes it special. The fact that we marry technology and fitness together in a fun way makes us unique. As a college athlete, I’ve always loved fitness, so this concept excited me.

In this industry, we see the power of transformation. We are in an industry where people can change their lives, and that’s extremely rewarding to me.

On the organizational side, I met Dave Long (CEO) and Jerome Kern (partner and founder) prior to the founding of Orangetheory Fitness.

I knew them in other business ventures, so I knew their leadership was key to the company. When I understood their vision and goals and saw how they aligned with mine, it was an easy decision for me.

From Selling Candy Bars to Growing a Franchise

At one point, Reuter intended to be a teacher. He studied business and education at the University of Northern Colorado, where he developed his natural leadership skills:

I always really liked the concept of leading others. I guess my sales career started when I sold candy bars for fundraisers in elementary school. I was highly motivated by the ‘thrill of the kill,’ so to speak. I would go door to door, honing those skills of talking to complete strangers.  

Highly competitive, that led me down the path of professional sales leadership. In high school, I was the president of my DECA chapter and fell in love with business. While studying sales, marketing, and education, I realized I really loved the concept of being a leader, pouring what you know and what you learned into others to watch them grow.

Today, there’s nothing more rewarding than seeing franchisees use the systems and processes we developed to grow a profitable business for scalable returns. Replicating that success hundreds of times over is really cool.

Becoming a Student of the Game

Reuter cut his teeth in executive roles while managing call centers. This is where he learned the value of constantly seeking out learning opportunities:

While managing large call centers, I learned that I needed to be a student of the game. I learned to focus on multifunctional experiences. Starting as a call center rep and quickly vaulting into a leadership position within 6 months was the quickest way for me to help others and get stronger results. My drive to be the best and know how to do almost everything makes me credible and relevant.

No matter what I’ve done in my career, I always thrived driving in different lanes. So many people stick to just one lane and don’t diversify. You’ll find most leaders have led in various capacities.

If you’re a good salesperson, focus on being the best, but be willing to learn new things to make yourself more knowledgeable and marketable.  

Part of my key to success is diversification. Driving in those different lanes and developing all kinds of transferable skills. Awareness. Communication. Building relationships. It’s all so important.

One of the best skills I’ve learned is team building and development. I don’t do my job alone. We have a strong team of great people.

We find each other’s strengths and exploit them for the betterment of all. This is their comfort zone. To get optimal results, you have to get uncomfortable — this is where results happen.  

Challenging people to learn new skills assists in their growth so they can become 360-degree leaders — by doing this they become great at everything they do.  

The Evolution of the Industry

Those who work in sports and fitness understand how the industry is evolving. Orangetheory Fitness is one of the leaders in this evolution:

Merging technology and athletics is changing everything, especially the way people approach fitness.

We live in a society where information is so easily accessible, and people are more data and results-driven than ever before. People want instant gratification. That “Scooby Snack.” They want to see what they have done and be able to measure it immediately. This is where gamification comes in.

For a lot of people, fitness is not fun. It can be a big task in their day. At Orangetheory, we found a way to incorporate technology, gamification, and fun music in an awesome culture to make people actually want to be there. We make it fun for people to be active and see results through fitness.   

That’s what makes Orangetheory Fitness a unique player in the fitness space — we create a new level of comfort. Fitness can be for everyone. In our world, every person is readily accepted, no matter their level of fitness.

The challenge is you versus yourself and not those around you. People have fun and feel good about being there. That creates mindblowing transformations for our members.

How to Find Work in Sports and Fitness

When you want to work in sports and fitness, the opportunities are plentiful. No matter what area or field you’re interested in, Reuter has a few simple tips for you:

Be passionate about the industry. There are so many different aspects of the fitness world. Many people just pick what they like and disregard other concepts. Learn how to respect that everyone has a lane they like, but also understand that people change lanes. Diversification is where people get the best results in fitness and in life.  

Also, take control of your own health. Not just what you eat or how you train but also your mental health.

Seek out the opportunity to be better than yesterday. Every day, ask yourself, “What did I learn today?” This helps you stay in constant learning mode. I end every day with that question because each day brings new opportunities to grow, no matter who you learn from.  

Some people just perform the tasks because that’s the job, but we like to remind our employees that consistently learning will help them grow. Taking the obstacles we all face and turning them into opportunities only makes you better.  

Preparation is the key to confident growth.  When you put yourself in many situations, you are less likely to react but rather respond in your efforts of leading, supporting, and inspiring others.   

By adopting this appetite for learning, you can make yourself a more competitive job seeker when you look for work in sports. Seeking growth opportunities can help you close the skills gaps for prospective roles and really stand out.