URBANDALE, Iowa – Anyone who has tried Farrell's Extreme Bodyshaping knows the program can be a challenge. For two of this 10-week session's participants, it's more than just a workout.
Jens Stottmann said, "For me, it's definitely the high intensity."
Stottmann tried out the program when he lived in Omaha a few years ago.
"I came to Farrell’s with the clear goal of getting back in shape. And, in my first 10 weeks, I lost like, a little bit above 30 pounds, so I think that's something that made me stick with the program as well," he said.
This summer he brought his friend Tom Luepke to try it, but they aren't here just to workout.
"We came here to write our master thesis. We are studying our MBA now at the Berlin School of Economics and Law," said Luepke.
The German students are studying the Farrell’s franchise to see if it's something that could be successful in their country.
"At the moment, nothing exists. You don't have 10-week programs with such good customer interaction, customer care. Most gyms in Germany, you come, you do your own stuff," said Luepke.
The 10-week Extreme Bodyshaping combines kickboxing, strength training, and nutrition. Coaches hold participants accountable, and there's a chance to win money. Lance Farrell started the program in 2001.
"Our first session, we had 40 people in it, and it was at the Beaverdale location, and they were basically Taekwondo moms watching their kids do martial arts, and we said, hey try this new program we have," he said.
More than 100,000 people have been through the program the past fifteen years. It will be in seventy locations in ten states by this fall. There's been interest in taking Extreme Bodyshaping to another country before, but this is the first time both sides are seriously evaluating it.
"We have to find some investors, but if everything works out, then we would open this, definitely in Germany. We think it's a good chance," said Luepke.
Farrell said, "When we say results are typical, they really are. People get results when they come in. And, to me, it's exciting to think what could we do this in another place, like Germany."
If the program does go to Germany, Farrell says it would be a little more complicated than bringing it to a new state. One reason: all the coaching and student manuals would need to be translated to another language.