Resilience, passion, and flexibility have fueled how small businesses make a large impact. With many restrictions put in place due to the global pandemic, Andy Luaces, founder and owner of Core Fitness Miami, saw past the limitations and exercised his gym’s motto: “be limitless.” As personalized and one-on-one training took a quick halt, Core Fitness Miami’s specialty, Luaces turned to Microsoft Teams to quickly adapt to the current climate of remote everything.
Born and raised in Miami with Cuban roots, Luaces is an example of resilience and passion as he perfects the art and science of Fitness and Sports Performance. At the age of 22 and frustrated with the training methods of large gym organizations, he loaded up his car with fitness equipment and went door to door in Miami promoting his services, which were not about getting as many memberships as possible, but rather to provide better, more personalized experiences for clients to meet their fitness goals. “For me, it was about helping people and promoting their wellbeing.”
Since its beginnings in 2007, the gym from the trunk of his car has grown exponentially to a 5,000 sq. ft. location in Downtown Miami, where he now trains anyone from house-moms to NBA and NFL players, pro-athletes from around the world, fitness enthusiasts and top executives from Fortune 500 companies. Up until a few months ago, Core Fitness Miami was bustling with energy from the trainers, physical therapists, and clients training. But then came the pandemic: “COVID-19 was revolutionary, it felt like my world was coming down in front of me. We didn’t do virtual until the pandemic hit, so we had to quickly adapt the way we do things,” expressed Luaces.
Already using Microsoft 365 for internal operations, Core Fitness Miami turned to Microsoft Teams to stay connected via live chats, to discuss client and athletes’ best off-season programs, and provide live one-on-one fitness sessions to his worldwide clientele. The platform was already being used by several of his clients, making it “a natural fit,” Luaces recalls. Staying safe and getting the job done has been the gym’s number one goal during this time. With the help of technology Luaces and his team have been able to continue to provide catered services without putting anyone at risk. “With technology I was able to survive and keep going, and actually keep growing,” asserted Luaces.
Currently, Microsoft Teams has more than 115 million daily active users.* There has been an increase in usage intensity as people communicate, collaborate and co-author content across work, life, and learning. This is seen in how Core Miami Fitness maintains business continuity as well as continues to provide catered fitness.
In the face of complete uncertainty, Core Fitness Miami’s digital transformation has been pivotal in encouraging them to keep an open mind to new techniques, ideas, and technologies. “During the thick of the pandemic an athlete wasn’t able to fly to Miami for his training and we were able to send exercises, as well as provide live training sessions via Microsoft Teams. “Without the use of tech, it’s impossible,” Luaces expressed, about being able to maintain operations going.
Although the entire world and Core Fitness Miami continue to navigate the “new normal,” Luaces shares there have been valuable lessons, “we learned that it’s important to respond to adversity and adapt. My career is an in-person job, so the use of tech has allowed me to broaden my horizons and be more effective. Without technology I wouldn’t be open right now.”
Luaces’ passion and dedication have been evident throughout his life and even more so during the global pandemic. His ability to lead his team, adapt and pivot his operations, shines light on his resilience. Technology has propelled Core Fitness Miami to overcome obstacles and continue to provide the best experience possible for clients regardless if in person or virtually from across the globe. “It’s important to give everything a shot,” he states. As for the future, “I can’t see us stepping away from virtual training, this is going to be permanent,” concluded Luaces.
*We define daily active users (DAU) as the count of unique users performing an intentional action in a 24-hour period in any of the Teams clients—desktop, mobile, or web. Intentional actions include sending or replying to a chat, joining a meeting, or opening a file in Teams. We don’t count passive actions like auto boot, minimizing a screen, or closing the app. We also don’t count Skype Consumer or Skype for Business usage, since that’s a completely different app. Our DAU numbers are de-duped, meaning we only count each user once.