We had the good fortune of connecting with Jason France and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jason, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I had been working for a national brand (Orangetheory Fitness) for four (4) years. I had presented ideas to the corporate team about innovations I thought could advance the brand into the future. I was snubbed at every offering and regularly told to “just coach your classes”. So, I decided to ask the owners I was working for if I could invest in their next franchise. A lot of the trainers that worked for the owner had the opportunity for equity in the studios we were helping open; but again, I was told “No, just coach your classes”. I knew the marketplace was changing, especially as it related to health and fitness, and without anyone listening to my calls for innovation; I decided to do it myself.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
The processes which have been constructed within SufferCity to advance one’s health, fitness, performance, and physique are, in fact, a work of art. It’s important to understand how bound to the sciences “art” and “creativity” actually are. Because; if something is to be experienced as “art” and “creativity”, it must be something which has not yet been done (creative), however still in alignment with the understanding of the symmetrical forces bound by Nature, which we call often times refer to as science, but when experienced as something beautiful or as something generating emotion we call it “art”. For instance, Dr. Stephen Marquardt has developed a mask to help people’s faces “fit” the ideal geometric shape experienced by other humans as “beautiful”. Through over forty years of specialized research in this field he has identified certain symmetrical patterns and shapes that “code” for beauty–to what some refer as “the Golden Ratio”. The farther the dimensions of one’s face is from “the Golden Ratio”, the more unattractive they will be experienced by other humans. Conversely, the closer to the ratio one’s face is, the more attractive they will be experienced by other humans. So, even though you may find your child to be “beautiful”, science and objective Nature might have a couple things to say about it. The same holds true in other experiences of “beauty”, such as those experienced when viewing or hearing “art”. The more out of tune a guitar or piano, or the more out of time a drummer in relation to the other instruments the more unappealing the sound will be. These mechanical, scientific variables must be aligned with some Natural, governing force in order for another human system to experience the sound as something representing the art of sound–or what we call “music”. I can bang on pots and pans in my kitchen with no order, no rhyme, and no reason. Some people in today’s culture would say “that’s art”. They would say something like, “So long as my heart is in it and I’m passionate and speaking my truth then it’s an art…and I would disagree with that. But, I could choose to align my banging with time signatures and rhythms that align with the symmetries of Nature and produce something sounding like music, or the art of sound. Or, I could go the other direction… Start with something purely scientific, like metabolism, physiology, and psychology, and reverse engineer the process to create something new and innovative that is experienced as “art”. Developing physical training systems that deliver results along a continuum without plateau on metabolic, physiologic, or psychological trajectories MUST be bound to the evidences of reality as told to us by the stories of scientific inquiry up the moment. But when you can do that AND provide a human experience unlike anything else while producing results like nothing else, you’ve transformed a physical training program into a creative art… And that’s what I’ve done with Suffer City: I’ve constructed a training program that delivers results like nothing in the history of exercise while creating a training experience unlike anything ever imagined. I’ve had to draw on personal experience and education as a Marine Special Operator (Raider) which provided the exclusive access to human performance protocols integrated into the Suffer City training model. But it didn’t stop at the mechanical advantages of strength, endurance, speed, and range of motion… I had to learn about physics, game theory and probability theory, as well as cognitive behavior therapies and the science of motivation. I’ve had to understand economics, politics, and business operations. It wasn’t enough to have the best training model in the marketplace, it was of critical importance that I also have the best business model in the marketplace. Mapping one onto the other has not been easy; and so I’ve had to draw on a lot of unconventional methods to progress through complex problem solving. It’s important that the world understand that SufferCity–the brand and the message–are unstoppable. And it’s unstoppable because it’s relentless.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Likely the most challenging question I’ll contend with during this process. In terms of local–Gilbert, East Valley, Phoenix, and surrounding areas–I’d most certainly expose them to the adventurous outdoors of the city in the desert. Pinnacle Peak represents the charm, elegance, and serenity Arizona and the Phoenix Metro Area are known for. Of course, Camelback Mountain has tough terrain and beautiful views; but each mountain range that surrounds the Valley, from South Mountain to the San Tans, cries out to the trail seeker; which many of my best friends are. Most visits from best friends involve work-related discussion and conversations; which we tend to enjoy in open, non-en closed spaces and eateries. Downtown Gilbert has developed into a diverse set of restaurant options with indoor/outdoor seating. Culinary Dropout and Postino are notable favorites, but the Heritage District can draw irregular crowds which correlate to longer wait times for seating and apologetic service. So… My local favorite for quality eats, environment, and consistently awesome service is Isabel’s Amor near San Tan Village.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I’d be in jail, in the hospital, in rehab, or dead if I hadn’t joined the Marine Corps in 2003. Yes, I experienced significant impact from numerous individuals in my nine-year Marine Corps career, but each individual impact only holds value as it relates to all the other experiences I had as a Marine Special Operator (Raider). My experience as a Marine taught me that your past doesn’t matter; your name doesn’t matter; what you have doesn’t matter; but what matters is your actions and what you do in contribution to the collective consciousness of all humans. And by “doing quality service” to enrich the lives of others, you end up being someone people value and having things you value. I had to learn that in Marines, and I, personally, couldn’t have learned it any other way. I must also credit many contemplatives who’ve come before me and have done the hard work in discovering the principles and laws of Nature which govern much of our innovations. Of course, I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for my parents and the sacrifices they made. My father, Steve (deceased), taught me the importance of measurement, precision, and accuracy in the articulation of complex ideas. My mother, Jackie, taught me the value of story and the importance of imbuing meaning into the mechanical Nature of existence. My friends and family today, those with whom I most often and most closely interact deserve immense credit and recognition. For without the love, support, and understanding of those closest to me, I would not be in position to follow through on my commitments and complete the objectives necessary to accomplish my mission.
Andrew Neugebauer and Krista Agnew