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Meet Paul Vincent of Altus Health in Santa Monica

Today we’d like to introduce you to Paul Vincent.

Paul, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
My brother and I combined our two individual businesses 12 years ago and eventually molded it into the company it is today. We both were born in the US but grew up in Portugal to English parents and lived a very holistic lifestyle, growing much of our own vegetables, getting produce from a neighbor’s farm. Our primary doctor was our acupuncturist. We had so much freedom as kids climbing down the cliffs to the beach and only returning when it was dark. We worked in our family restaurant as young adults and always had lots of responsibilities. This has relevance as it made us who we are today and is intertwined in why we started this business, how we run it and how we overcame the plethora of obstacles that were in our way.  At separate times, we both did our undergrads at UCLA to run track and field. Chris went on to become a chiropractor and I got a master’s degree in human performance. I went on to compete in endurance sports like expedition length adventure racing (ego challenge, etc.). When my brother had his chiropractic business and I had my personal training business, we mostly looked after athletes because that was the world we had come from. Because of our success with these athletes, we were soon asked to prepare some of Hollywood’s elite for their movies. This opened up a whole new world and we now have prepared lead actors for such films as Star WarsBlade RunnerStar TrekFirst ManMission Impossible, to name a few.

After many struggles and a deep understanding of what it takes to truly change someone’s health, we adapted our business into a private membership club that manages the complete health of its members. We reduced the number of individual clients from seeing over 2,000 per year to managing just 100  members per year.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
We have had to overcome many struggles to get where we are today but because of every single one, we are better people and have a business that really works. The first hurdle we had to overcome was two brothers with an eight-year age difference working as business partners. With some respect, this helped but there was a lot to overcome.

The next hurdle we had to overcome was hiring, training and developing staff only to have them poach our top clients when they felt they had gotten enough from working for us. We do not harbor any resentment, we only have a love for each one as we know we had flaws having never run a business before and it has made us so much stronger as a business because we have had to figure out why the clients were leaving us and deal with all that.

Finally, once we realized the only way to truly change and optimize someone’s health was through this new model we run today, we had to explain it to the members and this became the hardest hurdle we had to overcome. People are so used to piecemealing their health together, with a little advice from their doctor, a fitness program from their trainer, some separate advice form the yoga instructor and a nutrition program from an article they recently read. This is the norm and we were telling them it’s better to work from one unified program. The other difficulty we had to overcome was the way people relate to their sessions. Everyone has their own belief in what, say, a good training session is. They might think if they sweat a lot and their glutes are sore that signifies a good session, but it might not be what they need that day. But if the trainer does not produce this result they will not buy another session. So, the trainer ends up doing this dance to convince the client they are good at their job and neglect what they should have been doing. It is a constant negotiation to get the client to return. It took a lot to convince people this was inefficient, it wasted time and does not produce lasting results that will be with them into their golden years.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Altus Health – what should we know?
We are a unique business because of the way we do things, the detail we put in and the years of knowledge we bring to how to produce the best possible results for each member. We are a private membership club that manages the complete health of its members.  Worrying about your health is a relatively new concept in the evolution of our civilization, for most of our history it has been about survival.  Without a governing body like medicine people have become accustomed to piecing their own health regime together themselves.  You wouldn’t embark on a mountaineering expedition without a qualified guide.  So why would you not seek guidance with the health of your body, which in a very direct way effects the quality of your life?  We bundle all services into the membership; everything is included. We perform a detailed assessment on each member. This measures the integrity of every joint in the body, it also assesses your biological age – how you are actually aging compared to your chronological age. From this, we list out every single dysfunction no matter how small. We then write an individualized program that every one of our practitioners follows with a unified measurable outcome. Every three weeks we retest the tracks we were working on to ensure we are making progress. Once that dysfunction is corrected we move on to the next and the next until your body is functioning the best as it possibly can. So many factors that contribute to aging have a day one. It can start with a small muscle sprain or bad habit that throws off the alignment of that joint then 10 years down the road you have developed a whole compensatory pattern that will eventually make it difficult for you to get up and down stairs. It doesn’t have to be like this. You cannot look at the body in a compartmentalized way without considering the function of your joints, your sleep, nutrition, etc. We feel it’s a disservice to just work on one pillar of health. Your sleep affects your recovery and vitality, which affects the way you eat and try to stimulate yourself with food which affects the stress on your body, etc., etc., etc.

 The expert in health and fitness should be making the decisions and giving the advice but so many times the client is prescribing to themselves what they either like doing or what they heard works for some other person. There are so many things that result in the success of a program that we have implemented into ours, I can’t mention them all here but one final major one is: It doesn’t matter how good the program is, it can be the best program in the world but it depends on the person’s reaction to it. Are they going to do it or are they going to run the same patterns that caused them to be overweight or unhealthy in the first place. Every program fails due to compliance. We have to work on the individual and why they got themselves into this state. If you workout 4 times per week that is less than 3% of your week. We have to also be responsible for the other 97% or you will not succeed. Our headquarters are in LA but we also run our model in London and NYC

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
The utter caring and dedication we give to each of our members. We are very selective with the ones we accept because we have to get so involved with every aspect of their lives. Our commitment to each member means we can only handle a few at a time. We want the ones that are going to get the most out of the program, the ones that we can truly help. We take on members that are up to something in the world, it doesn’t mean they have to be the CEO of the biggest company, they can be a stay-at-home dad. We just want to make sure that with us in their corner they can reach and exceed their highest goals.

Pricing:

  • City membership $56,000
  • Club membership $24,000

Contact Info:


Image Credit:
River Callaway – photography, Cindy Gold

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