I had the awesome opportunity to chat with the mastermind behind Force, Derek Anderson. Their Kickstarter just launched, so before heading over there, read what Derek has to say, and why you should be interested in adding Force to your workout wardrobe (I know I will be!)
(photo credit to Seraphin Creatives (seraphincreatives.com))
1) What is Force?
Force is an athletic apparel company founded around the idea that our apparel should provide customers with benefits to reach their fitness goals. Our initial launch product is called “Resistance Apparel” and it provides lightweight resistance to our natural way of moving. By wearing Resistance Apparel we aim to help our customers become fitter without altering current exercise routines.
2) How did the idea of Force come around?
Force is an idea born from a compilation of personal experiences in my life. As a former internationally ranked track and field athlete I’ve experienced some great competitive highs, and as a stroke patient I’ve also experienced lows. Through it all exercise and the competitive mentality kept me going. I was so immersed in training for a period of time that training by itself wasn’t enough…I tried to find the training techniques that would be the most helpful for competition. Since athletics are based in movement I tailored my training to maximize the amount of Force I could apply in a given movement. Elastic resistance was a big part of that training regimen, but when I used elastic bands I had to affix them to a stationary object. It was this problem that sparked the thought which would eventually become Resistance Apparel.
3) Can the “Weekend Warrior” or the recreational athlete benefit from this?
The weekend warrior or recreational athlete can absolutely benefit from Resistance Apparel. While wearing resistance apparel you have to apply more force to complete normal movement. For this reason Resistance Apparel can be used as a tool to push cardiovascular threshold, strengthen muscle groups, and increase power in certain movements. Because Resistance Apparel utilizes elastic resistance rather than free weight the wearer isn’t reliant upon gravity to provide the added resistance they need. Resistance apparel won’t change the wearer’s center of mass and it provides resistance in multiple directions!
4) How did you find yourself in the middle of Force?
I found myself in the middle of Force by happenstance and will. The idea for Resistance Apparel came to me almost out of the blue, but my passion for improving our training techniques and the effectiveness of this concept pushed me to where I am now with Force.
5) Were you always an athlete? Can you tell us a little bit about how your work fitness into your lifestyle?
I’ve been an “athlete” as long as I can remember. My father brought a baseball glove with him to the delivery room when my mother was in labor. I played sports my entire life, and still do to this day. Although I sadly didn’t turn out to be Lebron James or Tom Brady I enjoyed every sport I ever played, and still play rec sports to this day. Being a “weekend warrior” now with real world responsibilities it’s not as easy to focus on fitness because the rest of my life no longer revolves around my training, but I still make a point to exercise and I think it’s important to try new forms of exercise. I still lift weights and run, but I’ve also gotten into other forms of exercise like yoga, paddle boarding, mountain biking, etc. to broaden my horizons and see fitness from a different perspective than the “athlete” always did.
6) What is your goal for Force?
I believe Force can be the company that provides it’s customers with products that assist them train harder and more effectively. We want to show the world what activewear should be…active!
7) In an ideal world, what athlete would you love to see wearing Force?
In an ideal world I’d love to see a lot of athletes wearing Force! Sorry if this is a bit of a cop out, but I don’t believe that our initial product line, Resistance Apparel, is exclusive to any one group. Anyone who moves in a linear fashion (i.e. if you don’t shuffle laterally everywhere you go) can experience benefits through wearing Resistance Apparel. It’s nice to think some international athlete may get behind our cause and promote our message, but I refuse to lose focus on the millions of Americans like myself who are focused on being fit through movement!
8) What’s your mantra? What gets your motivated when the going gets tough?
My mantra…this is a tough one solely because I’m a huge fan of Philosophy and like to really force myself to think of situations differently than my natural reaction urges me to. If I had to pick two of my favorites they’d be a quote from Bruce Lee and one from a dear friend/coach of mine who passed away a few years ago.
“We do not rise to the level of our expectations. We fall to the level of our training.” – Bruce Lee
“Keep your dream alive. It’s your dream that provides the engine to power your success.” – Joe Donahue
Given the amount of blood, sweat, and tears I’ve sacrificed to achieve certain goals I identify with Bruce’s quote, but at the same time Joe reminds me that our time in this plane of reality is finite and it’s important to dream and enjoy the pursuit of those dreams!
9) What’s one piece of advice you would give to someone who wants to break through into the fitness world?
Advice for someone trying to start a fitness journey: “Don’t listen to the negative voices, both external and internal. It’s difficult to make radical changes in your life, but once those changes become habit the reward is truly priceless."Advice for someone trying to break into the fitness business: "Check back with me in a year!”