Today we sat down with Andy McCloy, of Body Creations Inc., to discuss business, health, and of course, helping people improve their lives through strength. See how Andy impacts his community in unique, effective ways. 

 andy mccloy interview

Good day, Fringe fans. Peter Keller from Fringe Sports here again and today, I'm talking with Body Creations Inc., that's BCI Sports and Performance owner, Andy McCloy. Andy is serving the Huntsville and Madison, Alabama area and a few of the cities around there and he's a really interesting guy. Andy, how are you doing this morning?

Andy McCloy: I'm great, I'm great. How about you?

I'm doing fantastic. It's starting to be really hot in Austin, people are starting to complain about it, but that's really what I like. I love the heat. How are you doing in Alabama? What's the weather like over there?

Andy McCloy: Equal. It's about 87 right now and 100 percent humidity, so we're moving into that summertime and it gets hot down here too.

Time to sweat. Well, Andy, tell me a little bit about your background and what led to the formation of BCI.

Andy McCloy: Yeah, so I mean I've got a very different background than a lot of people in the sport-performance industry. I've been in business for about 20 years now, about 18 years, but been doing this for about 20. At 16 years old, I became a father and shortly thereafter, my family moved away from the area that I grew up in the Washington, D.C. area and I found myself trying to be a father and trying to provide.

And I met a guy at the gym where I was working out and he owned a couple of franchises. We owned a business called HBI Fitness, Health, Body, and Image in the Washington, D.C. area and he had exclusivity contracts at all the Gold Gyms in the Washington, D.C. area owned by the Galiani Brothers. And he was kind of the first person I saw having success in fitness.

And because that, sports and fitness were my life even at that age, that really drew me into the industry. By the time I was 20 years old, I decided to relocate to Alabama and arrogantly said, "I'm just going to start a business," and it was very general fitness driven up until about 2005. We started in 2001 and then, just given my personal background and experiences, I felt that two things worked in my favor.

One, I've been through a lot and I was able to look at this opportunity as a way to mentor and help young athletes. And then, with my sports background and the prevalence of sport-performance industry really taking off around then, I just decided to double down on that and go all-in on sports performance. Today, we serve a wide population of athletes from seven years old up to professional sports.

We also do still serve adult and general fitness clients as well.

Awesome, I love it. So, I had done a little bit of investigation on your website and I found your, what is it your wheel of conditioning. I found that really interesting. Can you talk to us a little bit about that?

Andy McCloy: That's something we build into our intake process, how we deal with athletes as a whole to give them insight into the philosophy of our program and I don't know when you saw that graphic. That was on an older version of our site, but the way that we utilize it now is to explain to athletes that we talk about a wheel being synonymous to building an athlete.

 So, if I was building a wheel, we believe that's synonymous to building an athlete and we talk about this thing in the middle being the most important thing. For us, we have a code that we try to push in each athlete's life and that's live your values, face your goals, and show up and take action. It's an opportunity for us to talk about the importance of having an ethos or a code that is value-based and drives the behavior that's congruent with the outcomes that you want.

And then, each spoke on a wheel should be evenly developed if we want our wheel to roll well. In a lot of youth sports, they're very heavy on the specificity side of the general to specific continuum, where everybody is constantly trying to become a better ball handler, a better shooter, or a better pitcher and they don't really understand how the development of general physical qualities will just enhance that.

So, we use the wheel as a way to illustrate that all these things are important, strength, power, flexibility, mobility, linear speed, change of direction, interval system development, SPP, which is a fancy acronym for specialized physical preparedness in the technical and tactical aspects that go into each sport. And then, recovery and regeneration.

It's things that we believe in and it's something that's become very easy for us to explain to our clients that enter our program to help pre-frame their experience and give them a better understanding of what we do and why we do it.

andy mccloy interview wheel guide

I love it. And so, you were talking about how '01 to '05, you were more general fitness-focused. Would you say now you're working more with athletes for their specific sports or how should we think about that, your general focus to the pivot that you made?

Andy McCloy:  I think everybody's an athlete. Even if they don't identify with that, so we try to push that into everyone. We're probably 60/40, 70/30 athlete heavy versus general fitness. That's what we're known for in our state and around that country and that's definitely our bread and butter, but we try to pass that along to adults and there is an inner athlete inside of them.

We train them very similar to how we train athletes. Yeah, that's the best way I can answer that question.

So, I want to dig in just slightly on that "everybody's an athlete", so that statement resonates with me strongly, because one of the things that I talk to the employees at Fringe Sport about is how we're all fighting the couch. Some people might be cross-fitters, some people might be runners, some people might go to spin class, or even yoga and things like that, but we're all choosing our either sport or our battlefield against as I call it, the couch.

That said, I have heard some kickback sometimes from people that they say well if you say everybody's an athlete, you're really watering down the word "athlete" and what that means. How would you respond to something like that?

Andy McCloy: I disagree. Context always matters, right? I don't think anybody should feel like if they hear that statement that we're comparing a 52-year-old mother of three to say, one of the professional athletes that we're working within the gym. But the bottom line is human beings are human beings and they need a lot of the same qualities.

They need aerobic fitness. They need a blend of mobility and stability within their joint systems and be able to control end ranges of motion. They need to get stronger even if it's not about force production or radial force production, it's about physical resiliency, so to me, I think anybody that goes to that place is probably misinterpreting the intent behind using the word "athlete".

Got it. And I think you're right, especially on the Internet, people want to argue about everything these days.

Andy McCloy: Yeah. I don't back down for it.

There you go. You talked about having some reputation and a strong reputation rather. What is your reputation? And I also note that you were talking about dealing with everything from seven-year-olds to professional athletes, so tell us a little bit about what you do and tell us about some of the things that you're proud of.

Andy McCloy: Yeah, so our expertise is in long-term athletic development dealing with youth athletes, like I said, from that seven-year-old age group all the way to where they're competing to play at the highest levels of the sport. We work with, I don't want to say a large group, but definitely all the professional athletes in our area despite the sport, we train them.

 And I live in Alabama and there's a large amount of professional athletes that come out of the State of Alabama. That's our saying and that's what we're known for and recognized across the country for, but I don't want the significance that comes with training pro athletes to overshadow that our mission is really to impact and change the lives of youth athletes and just using training as a vehicle to do that.

 We do a good job. Just this past weekend, we had 30 coaches from all over the country and world and when I say the world, I mean Canada and the United Kingdom come to visit us for a three-day event, where we're actually talking about the business of sport performance and how to actually develop a predictable and sustainable business model that's centered around sport-performance training.

That seems to be something that a lot of people really struggle with, there's a lot of seasonal issues and politics associated with youth sports that make it really hard to build a customer base around and it's taken us a long time to kind of crack that code, but we have and we were able to share that information as well with others.

andy mccloy interview

I love that. I love not only giving back to the community that you serve, you had mentioned before to impact and change the lives of youth athletes, but then also sharing the knowledge and the learning that you've had in the business. That's awesome.

Well, this has been a fascinating conversation, however, it's just really a quick hit and believe it or not, our time is pretty much up. I found you online, it looks like at andymccloy.com, but for somebody else who's interested in BCI, what's the best way for them to get ahold of you and to find out more information?

Andy McCloy: They should be able to go to bodycreationsinc.com to get insight into some of our programs and offerings. If somebody wants to really get to know me or catch up with me, social media is probably the best place. On Facebook, I'm just under my name, Andy McCloy.

Yeah, a pleasure. And I love your mission, impacting and changing the lives of youth athletes because one of the things that we try to do here at Fringe is to help people improve lives through strength. And I always love talking with a like-minded person, who has a similar mission, so that's amazing.

This has been Peter from Fringe Sport and Andy from BCI. Go out there and lift something heavy today.

 


Sydney Capello
Sydney Capello

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