This week, we have the honor to interview Anna-Carin Månsson and Ola Eriksrud. Anna Carin is the CEO of 1080 Motion, recognized as the world leader in professional grade digital motorized strength training equipment.
Founded in 2013, 1080 Motion is recognized as the world leader in professional grade digital motorized strength training equipment. The intelligence in their solutions resides in the software and algorithms designed to control the electrical engines that are used in their different machines, specifically the 1080 Sprint, Quantum and Cable. Both are used to analyze and train the physical factors that determine performance. As pioneers in their field, they are pushing the boundaries of not only the development of athletic performance, but also testing and rehabilitation. Their development efforts are always focused on bringing professional users the best and most efficient ways of helping athletes and patients.
Essentially, their products function as follows: the computer controlled electrical engine is connected to a drum with a line. Based on the type of machine different movements such as sprinting, change of direction, squats, jumps, pushes and pulls can be performed. Since the electrical engine is controlled by a computer loads and speeds in the different phases of the movement can be controlled as well how the resistance behaves.
One unique and highly effective resistance type that is widely used by teams in both rehabilitation interventions, the return to play process as well as strength training, is isokinetic resistance. With a slow speed setting, nearly any type of movement can be trained isokinetically. What makes isokinetic resistance unique is the machine controlled speed and matching force provided by the athlete. This makes it very safe as no large external load is required for high force outputs.
Picture: 1080 Motion products.
1080 Motion recently introduced a new product: The Sprint 2, which is a battery operated, portable machine with a built-in screen that teams, athletes and coaches can easily travel with the device.
Picture: 1080 Motion’s Sprint 2
Here is a video explaining how the 1080 Motion Sprint 2 works:
1080 Motion products are currently being used by hundreds of pro teams (NHL, NBA, NFL, NCAA, Premier League, Bundesliga) as well as universities, federations, Olympic facilities, and high performance centers. They currently have about 900 machines all over the world.
📝Show Notes: Through this interview, we touched on their backgrounds, their roles, their company and products, the benefits for sports organizations to use their product. We also talked about their plans for the next 12 months.
🚀Best Quotes: Here’s some of the key discussion points and best quotes from our conversation with Anna-Carin and Ola:
On their background:
“I have been an entrepreneur all my life, but I've been a tennis player, which is relevant for 1080 Motion. And I have been investing in startups and have held positions as a board member. My background is in business administration and I have experience in marketing, sales and customer service as well”.
“I am a physical therapist and associate professor by trade. Physical Therapy was my initial training and I have always been driven by a good mix of frustration and curiosity. Then I ventured into sports science where I got my PhD in biomechanics and motor control. As a result of that curiosity and frustration, I'm one of the co-founders of 1080 Motion”.
On their company 1080 Motion:
“We've been around for almost 10 years. We currently have about 900 machines out there all over the world and used across hundreds of teams”.
“Now we are not a big company. We have headquarters in Sweden and we manufacture our products in Sweden. We also have a presence in Austin, Texas. And we can deliver and support our products to all of the world. Our team might be our biggest advantage as our team members are very loyal, dedicated, curious, smart and hard working. We have great programmers, developers, engineers, physios coaches, and researchers”.
“We've been growing very steadily, about 30% per year. And we recently launched some new products, the 1080 Sprint 2, which is a new generation, battery driven device”.
On how their technology and products work:
“We have an electrical engine operated by a computer that is connected to a drum, and on that drum there is a line. The beauty lies in being able to operate that engine very accurately so you get a very professional and smooth feel when you are performing different movements and exercises. And by that control we can set loads and speeds as well as manipulate how the resistance behaves (i.e. mass in a gravitational field)”
“The ability to have different loads in the different phases of the movement has some big advantages. Think about pulling on a line. This means that when you pull away from the machine the load can be different than when moving back toward the machine. This can provide some tremendous benefits because that's how we're actually designed as humans”.
“Another cool thing that we can do is to set the speed of a movement. This means that the machine will automatically adjust how much resistance it is giving in order to control the constant speed. In fancy terms, we call that isokinetics, but another way of looking at it is more of a variable resistance. These features are in all of our machines with one of them is called the 1080 Sprint”.
On their competitive advantages, which are their team, experience, versatility of being able to do almost any movement, portability and the fact that they can collect data and measure parameters such as speed, force and power:
“The 1080 Sprint is a portable unit. We can bring it to the ice hockey rink, starting block of the swimming pool, the track, the turf or on the hardwood”.
“It's a mobile unit that allows for almost any movement pattern. We attach the athlete end of the line with belt, vest, handle or other attachment, and then we can have them sprint, do change of directions, side shuffle, skate or other locomotive patterns under loaded conditions. This can be advantageous in both rehab or training situations”.
"At the same time, we get data, which we will know how fast they did it, what their speed was, how much force they exerted on the machine and their power”.
“We have been in the game of digital motorized resistance technology for a while now, so we have a lot of experience and an extremely competent team of individuals who are very complimentary in their knowledge domain”.
On their other competitive advantages such as providing excellent customer support and conducting studies/research:
“One of the biggest things is that we pride ourselves on is customer support and education. For us it is about really taking good care of the people that we work with. I think is a key component to what we do, because we're obviously working with leaders around the world and we listen and we learn from them”.
“We take this in and we utilize this to help them be even better at what they do and we make sure to support them. But we are also learning from them and we are involved in research projects ranging from elite sports and performance to rehabilitation and more mechanistic research. This gives us a wide knowledge base which can be applied for different populations”.
On the fact that they are growing at 30% per year and that are reinvesting a large portion of their revenue into R&D to continue to innovate:
“I think being a healthy company is important. We are growing and have some profit, so we reinvest it into research and development all the time. And I think that creates a certain atmosphere and culture instantly. We reinvest everything into R&D”.
On how their customers use their products:
“Teams can use our products to help their athletes return to play. They can use them in a rehab to set criteria for athletes to target during the rehab process. This gives us a lot of opportunities, which is a freedom that our customers like”.
“Our different machines (1080 Quantum and 1080 Sprint) gives many opportunities. The 1080 Quantum and 1080 Cable is more stationary and commonly used in typical gym or rehab environments. The 1080 Sprint is mobile and can be used in many different environments”.
On the biggest benefits for teams and athletes to use their products:
“Well it's effective. That's one thing. For example, you can have a baseline of movement patterns that you previously were unable to capture and now you can have good reliable data. So that gives us new insights and new information, which is a competitive advantage for us”.
“Another thing is that, for instance, I mentioned the isokinetic type of resistance. That is very, very effective if you're micro dosing. So let’s say you have a busy season and you just have time to do a few exercises and you have short periods of time and you want to get the most bang for your buck to use an American expression”.
“We find that many teams and individuals like the ability to quantify, meaning getting data, precisely prescribe load, setting thresholds and baseline data. Let’s say for instance that someone gets injured and you're coming back and you are in return to play and return to sport phase. Then , we can actually see what level they they were at previously and use that in our clinical decision making”.
“There are many, many applications of the data output. Data is one thing, but it's a tool and it is helping us make good decisions. We're not doing data for data's sake”.
“In the end, I also think that it's the feeling in the line that it's smooth. Also, the machine is easy to handle, and it is easy to understand the numbers, which can be used to get direct feedback. We have found that we can compliment the coach's eye, with our equipment”.
On the fact that their machines (Sprint 2) are very portable which allows teams (NBA, NHL, NFL, MLS..) to travel with it:
“And you touched on something very important there in terms of portability and being able to travel with it. For instance, if you have a team, say an NBA team, they are traveling a lot. The 1080 Sprint 2 has a battery”.
“So you don't have to worry about any power source. You could set it up in a hallway in a hotel. You could set it up in a gym environment that you might have access to in the hotel. You can bring it to the arena and you can do things outside the locker room, and even bring it onto the court”.
“So you have multiple areas of applications and you'll have sufficient resistance to do a lot of different things with our portable machines right now. You can also bring it on the plane. So if you are flying, it's really easy. You just put it in your case and then check it in with the battery inside. And also coaches want to travel with it to have a portable lab, more or less”.
On the biggest impacts and benefits (Motivation, rehab, etc.) on athletes that they have seen after using their products:
“I've seen it being very important for the motivation of athletes as you have leaderboards and personal records and people are cheering each other on in a team environment. So that's a very good application, in my opinion, of objective data”.
“You can also see strength gains or strength being maintained by actually training shorter periods of time in the gym using isokinetic resistance, which means that you get a lot of value from the sessions that you are in. This has been scientifically proven as well. Furthermore, being able to control the load and the work done, can be very important in a rehab environment”.
“By using the sprint machine, we have been able to slow people down because usually they're a little bit anxious or afraid of going full speed. This fear can be very common in patients with an ACL injury. We have found that slowing down the speed of the movement with an external load in such patients has increased their comfort level and it has actually been a very helpful tool in conquering some anxieties and fear avoidance that they may have”.
On how often teams use their machines:
“So if you're talking about a team setting, it all depends on where they are in the season. It ranges from multiple sessions per week to more of a micro dosing which could be once a week to even less.”.
On the type of sports (soccer, American Football, basketball..) that they can support outside of hockey:
“If you're thinking about other sports, certainly team and individual ball sports, I would say, is a very important domain for us. So basketball is a natural one. American football is another one. Soccer or what we call football over here, is certainly a big user group as well”.
On how who their customers are:
“Our clients are pro teams (NHL, NBA, NFL, MLB, Bundesliga, EPL), universities, federations, Olympic facilities, high performance centers, but obviously anyone can use our equipment”.
“We are very proud to work with NHL teams now in the Stanley Cup finals. In fact, six out of the eight NHL teams in the quarterfinals were our clients, which we are very proud of”.
On their business model:
“Our machines cost anywhere from 17,000 euros up to 50,000 euros depending on what model. Once you have bought a machine there is a subscription model associated with it. If you buy multiple machines, you will have a discount price on the next machine that you buy. You will get a lot of value from the subscription and we continue to improve and advance the coach/scientist/athlete to machine interaction. In fact, we have had over 40 updates and improvements this past year”.
“We also offer leasing options when we can but it depends on what country it is because all countries have different financing solutions and options. So it is not like one stop solution for everyone”.
On their plans for the next 12 months such as growing their team, launching new products and potentially raising more capital:
“First of all, we need to grow. We also need to hire more people. That includes administration, sales, developers, coaches, you name it. Right now we are 14 people in the company. Now we just launched the 1080 Sprint 2 and the 1080 Cable which is much much lighter, smaller, battery driven and with an improved performance and user interaction. This will increase demand on increasing our staff”.
“It's a totally new generation device, which we think will increase our sales a lot. We are already seeing the impact on our sales since launching the product just three weeks ago. And we have more models coming up. So we will be busy with creating new models, hiring new people and executing sales. And we will focus on educating and providing great customer support to our customers as we always do”.
“We might also need to raise capital which depends on what pace we want to have.
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