The other day, our most famous franchisor/God of franchise consulting aka Andrija Colak, called me and said: “Have you heard about the Body & Mind team?” (Although he didn’t pay me for this intro, I wish he had.)
Let’s go back to what he said: ”This is crazy. A totally new approach to exercise, something revolutionary. They have been working for over 20 years and will now franchise their business all over the world. You should make a story about them.”
In Croatia, many entrepreneurs fail in the first few years, but there are also those who have been working successfully for over 20 years? My first thought was: They must be connected with the government party! There is no other logical explanation. I answered him: “Do I look like someone who would promote the party in power?”
Colak: “Don’t be” a conspiracy theorist. Get in touch with people. I am also successful, but I am not in the party of power.
I said to myself: “True. Colak is not, but he could maybe be a member of some local parties?. He didn’t mention them! Maybe he’s a much bigger traitor?”
Anyway, to make a long story short, I stopped by Body & Mind and researched what was going on there.
The word around town is that Body & Mind has an intelligent approach to exercise. Why would anyone buy franchise from you? You can put two mats, a pair of dumbbells, one bench and you have a gym. There is no more intelligent approach than that. What makes you special then? Whose idea was it for this business and where did you get the initial capital? Two young people can start a business in Croatia only if they are criminals/children of war profiteers. I wanted to do a nice interview, but now I would prefer to call Croatian FBI to start an investigation against the kinesiology couple!
I am not the child of a war profiteer, but I am the child of a war hero, so we had to borrow for years in order to invest in the business, grow and survive the various entrepreneurial and economic crises that befell us in the 20 years of Body & Mind. Apart from the beginnings of that crisis in 2008, we faced the biggest personal and business challenge during the corona, because in 2019 we invested 350 thousand Euros in the new Body & Mind Center, only to be closed 6 months after opening and kept in semi-death for over two years. But that also passed, and not because of connections or financial help from some investor, but again with our additional borrowing, work that knows no failure, tremendous courage, confidence in ourselves and life and of course stubbornness, which we inherited from our ancestors “from the stone “.
The initial idea for opening Body & Mind was mine. In 2003, the fitness scene in Zagreb was quite poor and exercise was not as popular as it is today. Inspired by some examples in Toronto, where I attended vocational training, I wanted to open a center that is based on an individual approach, diagnostics that precede training and intelligent forms of training, which pay attention to the quality of movement, breathing and the involvement of the mind in the movement of the body, from hence the name Body & Mind. This innovative fitness concept was further developed and perfected over the years, especially with the arrival of Igor in the whole story. Our uniqueness is reflected in unique working procedures and work system, based on the knowledge and skills of employees and a special relationship with clients. We traveled halfway around the world, trained in all possible gyms and studios, saw brutally equipped and decorated places, but we didn’t see what we have. A system of work that integrates the most recent science into practice, which bases its treatments on kinesiology diagnostics, exceptional professional specialization of trainers and a clearly defined individual approach to each client. Body & Mind is a training and diagnostic center where health and abilities are improved. This is precisely why we approach health and abilities in a holistic way, offering special diagnostic procedures that determine the level of health and vitality, we offer programs to improve hormonal health, breathing, sleep, etc. What we offer cannot be achieved with two dumbbells and Instagram. We offer kinesiology of the 21st century, i.e. a new dimension of fitness – at the center of which stands a person with all his peculiarities and needs. A new dimension of fitness was created through our continuous learning and reflection, rich work experience in over 26 years of experience, in top sports and recreation. We are so convinced of the uniqueness of this business concept at the global level, that we entered the franchise project more seriously.
I’ve been breathing since I was born, alone, single, for free and now you show up and want to charge me for breathing? How are you not ashamed? How are you going to teach me something I already know? I just open my mouth and breathe in the fresh air from the local junkyard. It doesn’t cost me anything. If you want to teach me something, then teach me how to exhale more CO2 and warm the atmosphere. My gas bill will kill me. I used more gas this winter than Adolf in his prime.
Everyone breathes, at least those who are alive, but not everyone breathes properly. About 95% of people have some problem with breathing, so they breathe dominantly through the mouth, breathe shallowly, breathe rapidly, uncontrollably hold their breath, etc., unaware that any form of irregular or inefficient breathing negatively affects their mental and physical health, on resilience and on their abilities. Knowledge about the importance of proper breathing is thousands of years old, and thousands of scientific researches on breathing have been conducted over the past 70 years, which confirm that proper breathing is the basis of health, resistance and longevity. Since the beginning of our work, we have emphasized breathing, but in the last 12 years or so we have delved much deeper into the matter and developed a system of diagnostics and breathing programs intended for recreationists and athletes. Our breathing programs teach proper breathing mechanics, contain breathing exercises to reduce stress, to improve sleep, to increase focus, concentration and memory, to increase energy, to increase endurance, to prepare before training, etc. The programs are carried out individually or in groups. In all these years, a large number of participants, from children and pregnant women, people with certain health problems, people with a high level of stress, active recreationists and athletes, have passed through the breathing programs, who have received enormous benefits from the program at the level of recovery, mental and physical. health, abilities and quality of life in general.
I asked Igor to take a photo of me breathing, but not to look like the Leader of the Albanian mafia putting a dildo in his mouth.
In addition to breathing, you diagnose posture and movement, health and vitality, sports diagnostics… I feel like I’m going to a vulcanizer. Why can’t a man simply come to you, sit down at the bench and do a couple of sets with a hundred kilos in peace, after a few biceps and triceps with dumbbells, a light look under the eyebrows towards the mirror and go home? Why so much diagnosis and individual approach? Aren’t we all equal? To whom do you forward this data? Admit what counterintelligence service you work for and it will be easier for us all.
We are not all equal! And that’s exactly why diagnostics serve us, it gives us an insight into the uniqueness of each of us. In our modern diagnostic lab, we have everything we need for a complete kinesiological diagnosis of recreationists and athletes. In the case of recreational athletes, we look at posture and quality of movement, perform diagnostics of breathing and maximum oxygen intake, as the main biomarkers of vitality, look at body composition and metabolic age, and analyze the curve of cortisol and hormone levels, as indicators of hormonal health and tolerance to stress. We get to know the goals of each person, their possibilities and limitations, determine the level of mobility, strength, level of training and motor control, after which we propose a program to improve health, appearance and performance. In sports diagnostics, we carry out the same, and add tests for speed, reaction speed, agility and explosiveness, with the application of modern diagnostic technologies.
They put me on a scale that measures the percentage of body fat and Mirela immediately shouted to her colleague: Mirjana!!! Look at this! What exclusive fats. This is all Wagyu A5 fat in his veins. You can see that this gentleman is not poor. We have a tycoon at Body and Mind. Get that protein Champagne for the Dear Leader Joe.
That it is not just female euphoria because Vin Diesel for poor people came to the Body & Mind. Everything was confirmed by Igor when he analyzed my data.
With you, everything is based on Pilates. Isn’t that blasphemy? Pilates is just a step to yoga, and we all know that those who practice yoga turn their backs on God! Why Pilates with so many beautiful weights?
Every human movement belongs to man and originates from God. To us, every movement is equally valuable, regardless of which method it belongs to, and each gives the possibility for the transformation of body and mind, for the expression and evolution of the whole human being. Every movement is a privilege and a gift. Although they would not single out any one method or movement over another, aware of the uniqueness and reach of each, in our work we largely apply Pilates, especially the one on machines. We especially resonate with the balance taught by Pilates, it requires a good relationship between stability and mobility, that you are strong and strong but at the same time mobile and agile. When someone is in such shape, we say that they are a real cat, like a ninja. We have translated this philosophy into other forms of training that we apply, including functional training, strength and endurance training, training to increase muscle mass, fat reduction training, etc.
Every person, whether honest or not, more or less busy, should find time for movement and training. Movement and training are the ultimate interventions when it comes to health, a high level of vital energy and resistance, and of course longevity. All other interventions and their effects come after movement and training. Once we realize that, we have no other option but to move! Although today it is challenging for many to find time for training, it is actually more a question of optimal selection. If I can’t make it to the gym, I can exercise at home, if I can’t for an hour, I can do 20-30 minutes, if I’m having a hard time recovering, I can find light to medium intensity workouts that are restorative or I’ll walk around the neighborhood for 30 minutes. The most important thing is to start and hit the right content and the right intensity. Experts, like us at Body & Mind, help with the latter. The service at Body & Mind is expensive and aligned with quality. The price of one individual training is 50-60 Eur. We also have training in small groups where the price is more favorable than individual training, but all together these are services that cannot be compared with others in the fitness industry in terms of quality and price.
Who are Body & Mind’s clients? Housewives? Athletes? Tycoons? Poor people? Children? People with one leg in the grawe? What honest Croat has time to stretch after all the heavy work obligations and how much does one individual training at your place cost anyway? Isn’t it time we introduced an exercise tax?
Our clients are recreationists and athletes who are looking for the best for their health and fitness. We also work with children, pregnant women, the elderly, people in therapy, as well as those who are in top form. Some of the famous athletes with whom we worked and still work are: Mario Hezonja, Damjan Rudez, Luka Stepancic, Zlatko Horvat, Filip Ivićc Samanta Fabris, Tibor Halilovic, Borna Rendulic, Dino Sinovcic, Andrej Gacina and many others. We also work with organizations as health consultants, where within our My Health Management program we teach people how to manage their health and improve their abilities in a practical and simple way. Such organizations foster a culture of health and a healthy lifestyle, and we are here to provide them with concrete knowledge and tools. At the same time, we work as consultants and educators in sports, where we provide clubs with complete work systems in diagnostics and fitness preparation of all age groups, and we train professional staff for their implementation.
At one point, Igor asked me to take a photo of him with their new coffee machine, but not to make it look like an cheep advertisement, but rather a spontaneous photo.
Is training or nutrition more important and how important are nutritional supplements in sports? Why aren’t there caviar-flavored proteins for us hedonists? What do you bring into yourself and what do you recommend to clients? For example: Rajko’s has a great Serbian grill 🙂
Training is more important than diet and it is not a matter of belief but a proof of science!. However, nutrition is extremely important for overall health and abilities. Food supplements are certainly an important segment for achieving top results. We take plant proteins and collagen, vitamin C and D, magnesium and zinc daily, and electrolytes and amino acids and creatine for training. We also constantly use zeolite, it is the greatest cleaner of the human body, which can be obtained from nature. We were vegans for a long time, then vegetarians and row fooders, we were also on a keto diet and we tried all sorts of things with food, we had experience in all these regimes. Everything worked until once. The key is balance, variability and variety. Today we eat everything, we try to choose healthy, organically produced foods, but we are relaxed about everything. Food contamination is, at least currently, a reality. But what is more important is to work on the purity of your mind and energy and to be connected with God, nature and positive people.
We’re getting hungry talking about food. I could see right away that they were successful because Igor had a Tag Heuer watch on his wrist, but when he ordered liver for lunch, I knew he was much more than just an ordinary entrepreneur.
I was thinking of taking only a salad, but Igor insisted on treating me with lunch, so it would be a shame if I was stingy on myself. There should always be room for a good veal roast at someone else’s expense. Vegetable proteins for everyone, meat only for them 🙂
Is coaching Dear Leader Joe the highlight of your kinesiology career? If not, agree that it is, but convincingly.
Although we have worked with many national teams, clubs, top athletes, including NBA athletes, and have been on observations in many NBA clubs, working with Dear Leader Joe is truly a supernatural experience.
PS: Where were you in 1991?
In 1991, Igor was in elementary school, in Croatian Bronx, chasing BMX all day and stealing fruit in the gardens. I went to high school, danced when I wasn’t studying, dreamed of working in the Croatian parliament and contributing to the state, society and people. So you know that I am ready to found a party, with which we can save Croatia together.
What message to send people at the end? I thought I knew everything about training, but now I know nothing again. I am so disabled that I can’t even bread without assistance. They stretched me like the inquisition of a woman accused of witchcraft. Granted, I haven’t been burned at the stake, but I feel every muscle in my rich body. They also examined my back and found that I should be Mister of the back for 2024. I think that the moment of entering Body & Mind is the realization: I KNOW THAT I KNOW NOTHING. If after this stretching and Pilates terror I become 2 cm taller, I will forgive them everything. If you don’t believe my report, visit Body & Mind and see for yourself 🙂
Author: Josip Novosel aka Vin Diesel for poor aka Dear Leader Joe, self proclaimed spell caster from Croatia, correspondent member of the magazine “Fuck the Pilates”, first and foremost a man, and only then a tycoon and Gastro Snob.