You have an hour break in your busy work day and decide to hit up the gym. You arrive, meander in, and observe the countless pieces of equipment, weights, and devices meant to workout each contour of your body. You’d like to strengthen your core and tone your abs but are unsure how to properly utilize the machinery, medicine balls, and weights. How many sets and reps should you do? What’s the proper form and order for each exercise?
This is where Coreculum enters the pictures — a product that combines the equipment (a ball) and infographics depicting each exercise — ensuring a seamless workout that will leave you feeling, fit, strong and empowered. Dr. Jim Rickards invented the Coreculum and recently launched a Kickstarter campaign in the hopes of sharing his idea and aiding countless individuals at the gym who need help with fitness and therapeutic exercises.
Here’s more on Dr. Rickards and his vision for Coreculum:
What was the spark that inspired the birth of your concept?
I love to use a medicine ball to workout my core muscles. An app on my iPhone showed pictures of how to perform various exercises with the ball (arranged in different routines with different goals), such as a full body workout focused on the core. One day at the gym, I forgot my iPhone and stared at the ball blankly. What were those exercises? How did I do them? How many reps and sets was I supposed to do and in what order ? Then the idea came to me: Why not print infographics on the ball showing you how to perform various exercises along with the number of recommended reps and sets –and arrange these in a specific order to guide the user through an entire workout.
What problem does it solve?
It provides the guidance that doesn’t exist with the typical workout equipment. Many pieces of simple, affordable, time tested pieces of exercise equipment are not used to their full potential and sit idle in the gym or at home. Often people don’t have the knowledge needed to safely use the machines or know the proper techniques to get the most out of their workout. Coreculum solves this problem. By placing infographics on products such as medicine balls and yoga mats, people will learn how to safely and properly perform various exercises with the device.
What’s the story behind the name?
Together, the ball and infographics act as a curriculum for the user. I was thinking about how the exercises could be placed on the device in a specific order to guide the user through a logical workout –kind of like a curriculum. The original exercises focused on the core muscles –so I combined the words curriculum and core into one- Coreculum.
How are you better/different than your competition?
We are really the only company that focuses solely on designing and manufacturing infographic guided fitness equipment. Other companies may have one or two products with limited scope of this concept, but it is not their core business. Because of this, we spend 100 percent of our energy providing clear communication through our infographics, and in doing efficiently and effectively shows users how to use our products. This makes knowing how to workout easy, and allows you to focus on the more challenging aspect of doing the exercises for the best possible workout.
How do you make money?
By selling the fitness products we design and manufacture.
What’s your favorite part of being an entrepreneur?
I love being able to combine creativity, relationships, and strategic thinking with what consumers want — and mold that into a tangible set of products to help people live better, healthier lives.
What has been the biggest surprise in your entrepreneurial experience to date?
The number of people who are willing to help you and want to be a part of building a company that can improve people’s fitness.
What is your greatest accomplishment?
Developing a physical prototype of the original Core Ball Complete that we were able to share with others and allow them to see, hold, and functionally use was our greatest success. I’d had a picture of the product in my mind for 2 years.
As an entrepreneur, what keeps you up at night?
Will I manufacture 5,000 Core Balls, not sell them, and have them sit in my garage for the rest of my life until I am buried with them?
What is the best entrepreneurial advice you have received?
A quote by Thomas Edison “ Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration”. Before designing the ball, making a prototype and now launching a Kickstarter campaign, I would tell people about my idea and they would love it, saying how simple and useful it could be. Inspiration and the idea of what we could create was exciting, but without doing all the work and getting to where I am now, I would still be talking about the product without actually selling products or helping people live healthier lives.
What is your #1 piece of advice for a budding entrepreneur?
Entrepreneurship is like working out with Arnold Schwarzenegger. It’s hard and the prize of being as big as Arnold seems impossible, but if you stay persistent, you will grow bigger and stronger, and eventually see the results.
What is the #1 book you would recommend for a budding entrepreneur?
“Meditations” by Marcus Aurelius. This book is foundational to the field of Stoic philosophy, which is a way of living life and thinking about the world. Many common aphorisms have their roots in Stoic philosophy, such as “If life gives you lemons make lemonade.” Mediations provides a solid foundation for understanding Stoic principles as a cohesive philosophy.
What song best describes your entrepreneurial journey?
“Truckin” by the Grateful Dead. The song details the group’s experience on the road while touring with all their trials and tribulations. This is similar to the entrepreneurial path I’ve been travelling on up to this point. “What a long strange trip it’s been,” the song’s climactic refrain, pretty much sums up the last few years of building Coreculum.
Imagine your venture becomes wildly successful. What does that look like?
Coreculum is designing, manufacturing and selling multiple products in both fitness and therapeutic lines. For instance,we have sport specific equipment in the fitness line, such as medicine balls helping tennis players work specific muscles, and in the therapeutic line of products, we help folks with specific problems –such as utilizing yoga mats for back pain. A loyal following of fit customers make up our Core consumer group and are radical proponents of our products.
When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
At a subconscious level I must have wanted to be an entrepreneur. This came out in the imaginary games I would play. I would dream up a business I was running, like a doughnut shop, and could picture what it would be like, what we would sell and who the staff would be. I would grow the idea in my head to such a scale it almost became unmanageable so I would need to sell it. In the end I pursued my passion for helping people live healthier lives and became a physician –a radiologist to be exact.
Do you think Oregon is a good place to start a business? How has it helped you, and what challenges has it posed?
Oregon is great for a business. The culture here is very open minded and sees the possibility of ideas. This is incredibly optimistic and encouraging. This has helped keep me going and been motivational. A challenge has been to maintain my focus on just Coreculum and not jump into starting other projects and companies simultaneously.
Any other tidbits or fun facts to share?
My kids, 8 and 6 years old, love to use the Coreculum Core Ball. It’s a lot of fun for them to figure out the exercises by looking at the infographics on the ball.