Sara Sigmundsdóttir Joins Scott Panchik as Investor in Relentless Coaching App
The Swedish-based company Relentless announced today that six-time CrossFit Games athlete Sara Sigmundsdóttir has bought into the company as an investor, joining nine-time, now retired Games athlete Scott Panchik, who became a part-owner last summer.
- “It’s so cool that they’re trusting us with what we hope will be the future in this space,” said Relentless founder Marcus Herou, a software engineer who also has more than a decade of coaching experience, about having both Panchik and now Sigmundsdóttir onboard.
- “When [Sigmmundsdóttir] started [CrossFit], she did not fit the norm as a strong girl but loved performance. She kept on showing up and never looked back, fighting to the absolute top. At Relentless, we want to challenge the norm, break the box, and inspire people to show up for training. Sara is the ultimate spokesperson for our core principles,” he added.
Remind me: Relentless is a coaching app that provides individualized programming based on your personal fitness abilities and goals, and it also adjusts sessions each day based on how much time you have, how you slept, and how you feel.
- The app will build “a draft of your upcoming sessions,” so to speak, Herou explained, but if, for example, you wake up on Tuesday morning feeling exhausted and stressed out, the app will adjust your plan to ensure you’re successful that day.
The Relentless Method uses the data it gathers about you over time and also integrates with other wearable technology—such as Garmin, WHOOP, Google Fit and Apple Health, Strava and FitBit—so it can design the most effective training sessions for each unique individual. That being said, Herou insists the more important part of the app isn’t the AI piece—“We would like to use the word AI as little as possible,” Herou said—but rather the human touch.
- Panchik added: “AI is just pulling everything off the web, so there could be something crazy out there that says, ‘If you do this workout you’re going to get abs.’”
The Relentless Method, on the other hand, has been built on sound training principles from experienced coaches like Herou and Panchik.
- “I got to put a lot of my training principles and all of the things I have learned from working with athletes of all ages, teenagers all the way up to 70-year-old masters athletes…to help guide this technology to create these training programs to better serve people that don’t have access to a coach all the time,” Panchik said of his involvement in the company.
Who it’s for: The Relentless app is useful for those who don’t have the ability to go to the gym to receive hands-on coaching, but it can also be useful for athletes who follow a core program, such as a gym’s group class programming, but who also want a little more “individualized attention and structure that you need to progress,” Panchik said.
- In comparison, a lot of other programming options are “cookie cutter,” and oftentimes they give people too much or too little work, “and everything in between,” and ultimately they aren’t able to find that sweet spot to meet unique athlete’s needs the way Relentless can, Panchik added.
Further, Relentless can provide value to a more elite athlete, as well, Panchik insists. If he were still competing, Panchik said Relentless would also be the perfect tool to add to his coaching team, as it could make decisions on the fly based on how he is feeling that day.
When he was competing, he was constantly “tip-toe-ing this line” between trying to get the most out of his training and staying healthy, Panchik explained. Relentless would have been able to help keep him safe when he was “sore and wrecked,” as it would have been able to catch wind of this fatigue and back him off.
- “Instead, old Scott Panchik would be like, ‘Let’s just pound the weights again here, and, you know, suck it up and get after it,” he said.
Panchik also said he thinks the Relentless app would be incredibly useful for a coach working with Semifinals and Games-level athletes, not to replace what they do, but to make them even more effective.
- “I think it would be a great tool for a coach to use for a Semifinals athlete…for inspiration and guidance. It’s like an assistant coach looking over your training and programming,” Panchik said.
Worth noting: In the near future, Relentless app users will have the ability to take a screenshot of their other core programming, and the app will immediately be able to recognize exactly what they already did that day before it programs some additional accessory work for them.
The big picture: Herou and Panchik insist nothing can replace an in-person coach. And this is not what Relentless is trying to do.
- “The magic that comes from what happens inside the CrossFit gym is the coaching, that individualized touch that you get…that your coach is taking care of you, knows your skillset and has a history of the things you have accomplished inside the gym, and where you’re at in your walk of life,” Panchik said.
However, it’s not always possible to have hands-on coaching, and for those who want more customized programming, or an assistant coach, Relentless is unmatched.
- “In my eyes, it’s the next big thing in giving people this hybrid approach to training,” he said.