‘We by no means as soon as sacrificed high quality for revenue. What I’m most pleased with with GASP is that we created a motion of like-minded individuals who every have their very own model of what GASP means to them.’ -GASP CEO Michael Johansson
Chances are high that in the event you reside the health life-style and love figuring out, you’ve received at the least a number of objects of GASP or Higher Our bodies garments in your closet or dresser drawers. I do know I’ve amassed fairly a set of tank tops, hoodies, shorts, and pants! Through the years within the pages of MD you noticed the perfect champions rocking these manufacturers, stars like Department Warren, Flex Lewis, Johnnie Jackson, and Dennis Wolf. I’ve by no means recognized the story behind the model itself. Not too long ago I spoke with proprietor Michael Johansson from GASP and Higher Our bodies world headquarters at Vacation spot Dallas and discovered how the corporate motto of “No compromises, no excuses, keep relentless” got here to be.
All of it started within the late Eighties, when Michael was promoting Brian Moss’ Higher Our bodies activewear model from the USA within the Nordic nations: Denmark, Norway, Finland, Iceland, and his native Sweden. The bodybuilding life-style had but to realize recognition in that a part of Europe. “Solely a choose few went to the fitness center again then,” Michael notes. Higher Our bodies grew sooner than they may sustain with, and the corporate went underneath in 1992. After negotiations, Johansson started producing the model once more in 1994. “The quilt of our first catalogue that yr featured Aaron Baker, and it was similar to the GASP model you understand right now.” Their gross sales have been restricted to Sweden, a nation of simply 10 million individuals, however fitness center house owners and ultimately Dick’s Sporting Items all carried Higher Our bodies exercise attire. Over the subsequent few years, the corporate took a extra mainstream route away from the hardcore fitness center crowd. “I felt we have been dropping one thing important, the place we had come from, our core values,” Michael tells us. “And it as all simply to be extra business and enchantment to an even bigger viewers.” That is how GASP was born.
Within the foreground, GASP CEO Michael Johansson
Michael was a bodybuilder himself within the early ‘90s, and his ardour for the game and life-style drove the values and mission of GASP. “We have been doing it from the guts, not from the pockets.” Johansson needed to assist others attain their bodybuilding objectives. “By the point I used to be 27, I noticed I didn’t have the genetics to be Mr. Olympia,” he says. “However I may very well be Mr. Olympia in enterprise and contribute to the game in my very own manner. Higher Our bodies could be the extra business facet of the corporate, and GASP could be the emotional facet for like-minded individuals.” In 2008, Michael determined to concentrate on the US market. The primary athletes to symbolize the model couldn’t have been extra acceptable: Department Warren and Johnnie Jackson, the epitome of hardcore in each sense. He made a daring gamble in 2012 when he bought every part in Sweden and moved the corporate to the USA. At present, GASP and Higher Our bodies are bought and distributed in over 110 international locations. Issues weren’t easy crusing. The arrival and fast rise of social media platforms challenged many established enterprise fashions, and by 2017 Michael felt the model struggling to stay related on this new surroundings. Ultimately the corporate tailored and thrived as soon as once more. I identified to Johansson that not solely is GASP clothes fashionable, however it’s additionally extremely sturdy, as confirmed by the various objects of theirs I’ve sweated in and washed a whole bunch of occasions. “That’s the place the ‘no compromises’ facet is available in,” he defined. “We by no means as soon as sacrificed high quality for revenue. What I’m most pleased with with GASP is that we created a motion of like-minded individuals who every have their very own model of what GASP means to them. Everybody has their very own expertise of the iron world, and we provide help to form your personal path. The garments remind you of exhausting work, no compromises, and no excuses, which is on the very coronary heart of bodybuilding.”
For many years, Venice Seashore was The Mecca of bodybuilding, the place bodybuilders from all around the world migrated to be a part of the tradition. After that Las Vegas started attracting the health elite, and now due to GASP and Higher Our bodies, Dallas has turn into the brand new space emigrate to resulting from their monumental warehouse/headquarters and fitness center, Vacation spot Dallas. “I needed the fitness center to have that old-school feeling of the gyms I grew up coaching in, and of Metroflex Arlington and hardcore locations like that,” says Michael. “It’s all about ardour and function for individuals who wish to work exhausting within the fitness center and fulfill their goals, no matter these could be. I needed it to be a gathering place for like-minded individuals, which is why I referred to as it Vacation spot Dallas.” To date GASP athletes Keone Pearson and Martin Fitzwater have moved there, and shortly two-time Olympia 212 champ Shaun Clarida may have left his native New Jersey together with his spouse and baby for Dallas as nicely. It’s additionally the place a lot of their sensational video content material is filmed for his or her Iron World YouTube channel, by chief videographer Nick Del Toro, who did wonderful work for MD for years.
‘Everybody has their very own expertise of the iron world, and we provide help to form your personal path. The garments remind you of exhausting work, no compromises, and no excuses, which is on the very coronary heart of bodybuilding.’ -GASP CEO Michael Johansson
Every thing shifted in 2017 when Johansson felt the corporate was changing into too company, and he determined to deliver it again to its roots as soon as extra. “Everyone brings one thing to the desk, whether or not they’re present champions, aspiring bodybuilders, or athletes who’re now not competing. It’s a household right here and everyone seems to be welcome. We’re numerous however once more, like-minded.” There are various different manufacturers to select from and the health clothes business is extra aggressive than ever, however GASP and Higher Our bodies have remained related by means of all of it. “Our clothes is for everybody who has goals and objectives, and we consider serving to others raises all of us to a better degree.” This yr, GASP and Higher Our bodies are supporting 80 novice and professional contests, they usually have over 15,000 model ambassadors and athletes all over the world. “It’s all about creating extra camaraderie and extra of a group,” Michael says. “That’s much more essential than promoting clothes.”
Ron Harris received his begin within the bodybuilding business in the course of the eight years he labored in Los Angeles as Affiliate Producer for ESPN’s “American Muscle Journal” present within the Nineties. Since 1992 he has printed almost 5,000 articles in bodybuilding and health magazines, making him essentially the most prolific bodybuilding author ever. Ron has been coaching because the age of 14 and competing as a bodybuilder since 1989. He lives together with his spouse and two youngsters within the Boston space. Fb Instagram