As founder and CEO of Exude Fitness, Edward Jackowski, Ph. D has built one of the most successful motivational and one-on-one fitness companies in the United States. Headquartered in Manhattan — and also servicing Southeast Florida and the rest of the Tri-State area — Exude is not just a collective of personal trainers telling you to eat less and work out more. Instead, Exude is focused on personalized gadget-free workouts, as Edward has created the world’s only patented fitness regimens based on body types.
Beyond founding Exude, Edward has written seven published books, the latest of which titled Escape Your Weight. He has contributed to countless outlets as a fitness expert, including the AARP, New York Daily News, and WebMD. Undoubtedly he is one of the few people within the fitness world to have been interviewed by Barbara Walters, Diane Sawyer and Pat Robertson. Edward has also been involved with hundreds of non-profit organizations and causes, including work as a keynote speaker for the American Diabetes Association, and he is currently the Lifestyle/Fitness Expert for The Caregiver Space, America’s leading organization for caregivers.
Downtown caught up with Edward — who was once selected by now-President Donald Trump to get former Miss Universe Alicia Machado back into shape — for some Q&A about his past, present and future. More on Edward, his business, his books and everything he has coming up can be found at www.exude.com. Exude can also be followed on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Google+.
What do you think are some of the biggest misconceptions out there about fitness?
Edward Jackowski: The top fallacies are: a) adding more muscle to your body enables you to burn more fat, b) fitness apps that count your walking/steps taken per day make you more fit, c) muscle weighs more than fat, and d) women cannot bulk by lifting weights…
For someone thinking of making some changes through exercise, what are the best first steps that they should take?
EJ: You need to look at the following four factors…One, your current lifestyle, which determines where and when you’ll be exercising in order to guarantee consistency, the most important factor in becoming fit. Two, your current level of fitness, which dictates how hard and at what intensity to start out with. Three, your medical and orthopedic background, which will tell you what exercises you should not be performing, and as a result, will help in preventing injury. And four, determining your body type, which will guide you as to what precise exercises will effect aesthetic change based on your goals, which in turn is what ultimately keeps you motivated to keep exercising.
Have any of your fitness-related philosophies changed over the years?
EJ: None have changed, but we have perfected them over time as I am able now to explain and simplify all of them better so that the lay person can clearly grasp and understand it. For example, we always knew that aerobic exercise was best for weight loss, but now we can pinpoint exactly medically and scientifically-speaking why this is so.
Why do you think Exude Fitness has become one of the “go to” exercise destinations for New Yorkers?
EJ: For a couple of reasons. We are the only company that teaches you to become your own trainer as we release and set free our clients to exercise on their own once they learn the system. Exude has no membership fees, thus allowing anyone and everyone who belongs to a gym/health club to keep their membership why learning the program. We are the only fitness entity in the world that studies the aesthetic effect of exercise to the human anatomy. We are the only fitness company in New York City that gives a two-week money-back guarantee that you will see an improvement to your problem-areas. And, if you cannot come to us to train, we come to you throughout the five boroughs and beyond.
Aside from inventing and owning the world’s only patent on exercising based on body types, what is the most unique thing about Exude Fitness?
EJ: Exude provides its clients with an exact blueprint of the best exercises around the four factors so that he/she now has control of their fitness destiny for the rest of their life.
In general, who makes up Exude’s customer/client base?
EJ: Exude services men and women from the ages 18 to 80. Exude also specializes in exercising for diabetics and children and anyone who has any medical or orthopedic constraints.
What led to you getting involved in the fitness industry in the first place? And how did you develop the exercise prescriptions for the body types?
EJ: My parents, especially my father taught me nearly every sport by the time I was 10 years old, so I had an affinity from youth. He also preached and taught me the value of practice and training physically for each sport. The body type programs evolved and took seven years to initially develop and 25 years to perfect, from performing in-house studies, to empirical evidence, to research, to tracking girth measurements, etc.
Did you have a mentor in the fitness world? Or a mentor that taught you how to run a business?
EJ: I always admired Jack LaLanne, the godfather of fitness. Business-wise, it was all trial and error and hiring/surrounding myself with good employees.
When did Exude first feel like a successful company to you? Was there a particular event that you look at as a big break?
EJ: When I was interviewed by Barbara Walters on our philosophy and one of my books — about why almost everyone who exercises is doing it wrong. My big break came when we received the patent on body type exercise as it took nearly 20 years, and everyone told me you couldn’t get a patent on a fitness system, which obviously was not the case…
Is there an accomplishment from Exude that you are most proud of?
EJ: Yes, most recently our fitness program was licensed to LSU and used in an independent medical study to show the efficacy versus the federal guidelines of fitness in the U.S., and it was found to be as effective and safe as the federal guidelines of fitness. The first–ever, full-body fitness program since the guidelines were first developed and released back in 2008!
You have written multiple published books and all of them are still in-print. Do you have any plans to write another one? Or to do writing or video content at some point?
EJ: Yes, to date seven books and counting, which is pretty fortunate since fitness fads seems to come and go daily, and we have produced 10 exercise DVD’s. Currently I am getting ready to write two more books; the first one is a follow-up to our best-selling tome Escape Your Shape, and the second one is entitled How To Raise A Fit Child in Today’s Tech World. As everyone knows, our children are wasting their life away primarily by playing Xbox and the like instead of moving everyday, as they should be doing.
When not busy with work, how do you like to spend your free time?
EJ: I enjoy spending time with my two little boys, fishing, playing golf, basketball, gardening, body-surfing in the ocean, singing big-band music and coaching youth sports.
Finally, do you have a favorite restaurant in New York?
EJ: Smith & Wollensky on 49th and Third Avenue in the Grill Section. It has excellent food and great energy for either a social date and/or business get-together.