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Posted 07/27/2022 by LIT Method

Backed by Jay-Z, LIT Method Launches Franchise and Aims to Eclipse CrossFit, Peloton


Backed by Jay-Z, LIT Method Launches Franchise and Aims to Eclipse CrossFit, Peloton

No running, no jumping, no weights. Instead, LIT Method—for Low Impact Training—opts for a combination of rowing and resistance bands with a “focus on building bodies rather than breaking them,” said co-CEO Justin Norris, who co-founded the Los Angeles-based concept with his wife, Taylor Norris.

LIT Method attracted investments from Marcy Venture Partners—the venture capitalist firm co-founded by rapper Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter, Jay Brown and Larry Marcus—and Adrian Gonzalez, former Los Angeles Dodger and five-time MLB All-Star, since its launch in May 2020. It announced a franchise offering on January 12.

But the journey to creating LIT Method started in 2006 when a piece of glass fell on Justin and cut the main artery and four tendons in his arm. After six blood transfusions, surgeons asked his parents if they could amputate his arm because it wouldn’t stop bleeding. Luckily, doctors were able to save his arm but told Justin—who played baseball, football, wrestling, and track and field he would likely never have complete mobility in his arm again.

He has a 14-inch scar, and though he still doesn’t have full mobility in his wrist, Justin rehabilitated his arm by using resistance bands instead of weights and other low-impact exercises in physical therapy. Taylor also struggled with athletic injuries before meeting Justin, who took her under his wing when the two began personal training together. The duo soon began working with patients referred to them by physicians and physical therapists, teaching them resistance training exercises meant to prevent injuries.

“At the time, CrossFit was a hot commodity, and everyone was getting injured from cross training or any kind of circuit training,” Taylor said. “So what we were doing was giving you that high-intensity workout but all low impact, so you never had to have two feet off the ground. All the CrossFitters that were injured would come to us because they were able to work out pre- and post-injury, so we scooped up a lot of that and created a buzz.”

In 2017, the millennial couple opened a group fitness studio in West Hollywood, California, in an 800-square-foot space, which had a bathroom in the middle of it, Justin noted with a smile. Then came the LIT Strength Machine, ideated by Taylor, which they developed together and launched in May 2020.

“I do the function of it, and how I want it to feel,” Justin said, while Taylor handled product design and branding. “You never want me to pick a paint colour or anything…that goes for our personal life as well, by the way. Nothing with designs, colours or branding. That’s not my world, and I know to stay out of it.”

The stationary machine is an all-in-one water rower, Pilates reformer and resistance band training system, which they designed with more than 500 exercises in mind targeting strength, cardio and recovery.

“When we first came to market, there was nothing about low-impact training. That’s how we can secure trademarks around LIT,” Justin said. “We were the true creators of this category. No one is doing what we do, and we use proprietary equipment we invented that acts as a true total gym.”

Customers can work out in physical studios, which is $199 per month, or live daily workouts called LIT On-Demand, which is $24.99 per month for a digital membership. Though workouts can be done with bands and bodyweight only, customers can also purchase a LIT Strength Machine for $1,750 to keep at home.

The recent news of Peloton considering layoffs and making changes to its production as demand wanes, coupled with the overall drop in gym memberships since the pandemic began, doesn’t deter the Norrises. It makes them more determined to be a differentiator in the competitive fitness space by launching their hybrid concept as a franchise opportunity, with an investment ranging from $200,000 to $500,000.

“We talked about franchising for many years, but always kept telling ourselves, we’re not ready, we want it to be perfect,” Justin added. After finalizing the store design—which will average 2,500 square feet with 30 machines and a showroom in the front—the Norrises leapt.

They also recently tapped Michael Abramson, former chief revenue officer at Xponential Fitness, to lead franchise growth as chief strategy officer. They hope to award 100 franchise units within the next 12 months and have received 150 organic leads since last week, but ultimately are looking for the right franchisees and will be “very selective,” Justin said.

“We’re looking for people that want to make a difference and impact in the world and have that entrepreneurial itch,” he continued, “and we are here as a husband-and-wife duo, and also our executive team, to support them in any way we possibly can to make sure they succeed.”

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