How CryoBuilt is adding value to gyms through electric, whole-body cryotherapy, all while being proudly based and manufactured in the U.S.
Cold treatment — or cryotherapy — has existed in some form for centuries. But in recent years, whole-body cryotherapy has skyrocketed in popularity as consumers realize the benefits of being exposed to extremely cold temperatures for short bouts of time. Those benefits include reduced inflammation, muscle recovery and increased energy, among others.
One company on the forefront of cryotherapy technology is California-based CryoBuilt, the largest manufacturer of electric, whole-body cryotherapy systems in the U.S.
CryoBuilt got its start in industrial refrigeration, serving niches such as grocery, cold storage, food processing and biotech labs. However, eight years ago it started experimenting with cryotherapy, selling mainly to sports teams or retail wellness spas, and now fitness centers. The company’s vision is to make cryotherapy more available and accessible to the masses.
“Historically, it was only available in pro sports facilities or you would have to drive a long way to find it,” explained Marcus Wilson, the CEO of CryoBuilt. “Cryotherapy is such a beneficial health, wellness and recovery modality, and we make it our mission to provide the most innovative, safe and sustainable product for everyone to have convenient access to it at an affordable cost.”
Wilson predicts that in the future, cryotherapy in gyms will be as common an amenity as a sauna or shower. This is due to the numerous benefits to both the gym and the consumer.
From a gym’s perspective, adding cryotherapy creates a unique differentiating factor that is likely to be in high demand, aiding in consumer acquisition and retention.
“Right now, gyms are looking for how to bring members back and how to keep members,” said Wilson. “There’s a huge at-home workout trend, and gyms are having to compete with that now. Cryotherapy is a great solution, because very few are going to have access to it at home. And as more and more gyms adopt these services, it could be the difference maker from a member choosing your facility over the one down the street. It’s definitely an area of investment that all gyms need to consider.”
In addition, cryotherapy can be extremely lucrative for gyms as an additional profit center, with customers upgrading memberships for access to cryotherapy or paying per use. This is a major boon as gyms seek to recover the profits lost from the COVID-19 pandemic.
In fact, CryoBuilt’s cryotherapy systems are even more lucrative compared to competitors due to the fact its products are electric, resulting in lower operating costs.
“The system runs all day long, so it’s something that has extremely low overhead,” explained Wilson. “That makes it perfect for a subscription model. It can be offered as an upgrade or a wellness package on top of the existing gym membership. And then you can also charge pay per use.”
With a captive audience in members, Wilson said conversions to cryotherapy are surprisingly easy.
“Because the system runs all day, essentially it’s $0 to have someone try it, so gyms can give one free session to all their members,” explained Wilson. “Once they try it, there will be a very high conversion rate — it is pretty shocking to see what happens when people try this. It’s addicting. As gyms continue to adopt wellness services, I see all gyms having a wellness package upgrade, and the ones that don’t are leaving huge amounts of revenue on the table. And they are sacrificing their members’ ability to get in better shape, which is their whole mission and goal to start with.”
Through CryoBuilt, Wilson has seen the positive impact of cryotherapy on individuals first-hand.
“I get to build products that help people,” said Wilson. “I love watching people come out of the cryo chamber for the first time and seeing the expression on their face and the almost predictable, ‘Oh my, that was amazing.’ I also love watching people’s progress and how they use cryotherapy as a tool in their lives, whether it be for recovery from training for an event, pro athletes using it to perform better, or everyday people using it for general wellness, arthritis or pain management.”
If you’re sold on the benefits of cryotherapy for your gym and members, what’s the next step? There are a couple key factors to consider when making an investment.
The first factor is if you should invest in a nitrogen or electric cryotherapy system.
According to Wilson, all forms of cryo or cold therapy are beneficial to a degree. However, electric systems offer the greatest benefit for two reasons. One, they’re safer. Nitrogen systems, if misused, pose a risk of death. Two, with a nitrogen system the user’s head is outside the chamber, meaning they don’t get the full benefit of cryotherapy.
“You are foregoing a huge amount of benefits of cryotherapy by doing that,” explained Wilson. “With electric, it’s totally breathable air — you’re able to walk in and expose the vagus nerve, which is at the back of your neck and where your cold receptors are. When the vagus nerve is involved in cryotherapy, this results in a number of positive responses, including sending oxygenated blood throughout the body and increasing the amount of white blood cells, which repair torn muscles and boost immunity. Dopamine levels increase throughout the body as well.”
Another important factor to consider when investing in a cryotherapy system is the company’s service-level and where the company is based.
Historically, cryotherapy companies have been based outside the U.S., making it difficult to get new parts or service when a system goes down or needs maintenance. This has been especially true during the pandemic, where supply chain issues have been commonplace.
CryoBuilt is a family company that believes in manufacturing within the U.S. and supporting its products in the field well after the sale.
“We have seen too many companies come out with products just to see them fail due to lack of support from the manufacturer,” said Wilson. “We are different in that we have 3,000-plus technicians with boots on the ground across the country and a 24/7 in-house tech support team ready to help at a moment’s notice.”
This is vital for those looking to invest in cryotherapy due to its profit-generating potential.
“If the systems aren’t working, there’s no revenue coming in,” said Wilson. “So, we put a lot of effort and focus on support and service to make sure the systems are continuing to run constantly.”
At the end of the day, cryotherapy just may be the key to unfreezing your gym’s potential. No brand makes it easier or more viable than CryoBuilt.
“Our electric cryotherapy chambers bring an innovative new recovery offering to club operators that creates a new revenue stream, increased member retention, and healthier, happier members,” said Wilson.