Calgary entrepreneur Vu Nguyen said he suffered from debilitating low self confidence in his early adulthood.
He thought exercise would help, but he was uncomfortable going to the gym.
Eventually, through the hard work of home exercise, Nguyen, who was at that time working as an engineer, regained his confidence.
It’s at that point, the concept for the EvolutionVN, patented all-in-one home gym, was born.
“Through the course of that I realized, while I was working as an engineer, I realized that I was meant to do more,” Nguyen said.
Nguyen figured that he couldn’t be alone in his quest to build confidence through exercise – and not at a bigger gym.
“It didn’t take me too long to realize that it wasn’t just me. It wasn’t just me who was scared. The gym is not for the majority of people,” he said.
“So, I asked myself, how can I bridge that gap? And really, that’s where the marriage of engineering and personal training came together.”
He put his skills as an engineer – and a newfound passion for working out at home and personal training, and developed a simple but effective home gym – EvolutionVN.
The system is simple, but powerful
It’s a three-foot by three-foot square platform, with adjustable posts on the corners. From there, resistance bands are attached to the poles in various way to create a multi-use resistance training apparatus.
“I will confirm that it is simple. And it’s designed to be simple,” said Nguyen.
It was important for it to be compact and easily used.
Nguyen explained that these bands provide three-dimensional resistance.
“Which means that regardless of which direction you’re pulling them in, they will give you opposing resistance, which is starkly different from their dumbbell and other free weight counterparts, which only offer resistance in the up and down plane,” he said.
Based on how and where you connect the bands, you can control the level of resistance. It also has user assistance that allows them to do a perfect push-up or squat.
The product has gone through an evolution, Nguyen said, after first being invented five years ago. Every step of the way, Nguyen remembered the women he trained with along the way and their reluctance to be at the gym.
“They were there because they had no other choice or no other perceived choice, right,” He said.
“And whether it was because of the time commitment or the insecurity or the lack of confidence, whatever it is – a bevy of reasons – they didn’t enjoy being there.”
And that’s Nguyen’s target market. Time-starved, active women looking for a way to stay fit with a compact system they can easily use at home.
To top it off, there’s a robust virtual component for beginners to advanced training.
There’s a mass market appeal to EvolutionVN
Nguyen said his goal is to infiltrate the US market. He said by sheer population it just makes sense. Especially when the fitness industry is $30 billion annually in North America and large portion of that spends money on gym memberships they just don’t use.
“I would love for it to be in this as many households as possible,” he said.
He said for the first couple of years he was prototyping and grabbing product sales wherever he could.
“We had sales and got a decent traction, but I wasn’t operating like a business,” Nguyen said.
Working with Platform Calgary’s Junction program, Nguyen is now seeing a path to build a better business.
“I’m going back to the data,” he said.
“Everybody’s asking, ‘so what data supports this, what data supports that?’ It’s really, really shifted that lens of mine.”
It’s the type of training that’s helping him build EvolutionVN business confidence.