When you want to talk to a cowboy, you have to get your story from the proverbial horse's mouth, which is what I did to get a Cowboy Ryan Ehmann Update about his recent appearance on Shark Tank episode 417. I called Ryan for an interview and when he picked up the phone, he greeted me with a hearty “WOO HOO! THAT'S WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT!” He was on his way from doing a live radio interview to his gym, where he was hosting a live event. The enthusiastic Cowboy Abs fitness trainer told me all about his life, his Shark Tank appearance and working with Daymond John.
Cowboy Ryan Ehmann Update: Background Information
Ryan Ehmann doesn't believe in doing things half way. That's why, when lower back pain threatened his career as a rodeo rider, he wouldn't take “NO” for an answer. “I was in rodeo for 12 years,” Ryan explains, “I never got hurt, but chronic pain was creeping up on me. It got to a point where I was in so much pain, I didn’t want to ride. My Doctors said I’d have to live with it, but you can't take rodeo away from me, you might as well take air out of my lungs. I went to over 15 doctors over a period of a couple of years. I was near broke, living in a camper in Texas, and I was so desperate, I was willing to try anything. A friend gave me a cassette of Tony Robbins and it taught me if you aren’t getting what you want, you have to change your approach. I wasn't changing my approach, I was just trying new doctors.”
“Here I was, in all this pain, and I didn’t know anything about my body. Back in high school, I used to do 2 hour workouts and the football players told me I was making them look stupid because I worked out so hard. Even though I was in good shape, it wasn't working for me when the low back pain started. I decided to learn about personal training at the Kenneth Cooper Institute in Dallas. It was a real hands on program and about halfway through the certification program, I found my answers. My actual back issue was imbalance of my back muscles; I never worked out my lower back. The key thing is figuring out the condition of your muscles and fixing the muscular imbalance. After this journey, I wanted to return to rodeo and I became a trainer at Gold's Gym in Austin.”
I made it my goal to win the FOX Sports Championship, but I didn’t have the budget. I arranged a meeting with the marketing folks at Golds Gym headquarters in Venice Beach. They told me they don’t sponsor people, they've never done it, but they heard about me overcoming my back pain and about the work I did in Austin. They agreed to sponsor me! I got a Gold's Gym hat, cowboy boots, and everything. They told me to go win this championship and make them proud – and I did it! They believed in me. When I walked out of that meeting, the marketing VP said ‘we didn’t invest in you because of rodeo – we invested because of your passion.' I was so proud of that!”
“I found my mentor in Bruce Ford – a 5 time National Finals Rodeo Champion. I wasn’t riding well, so I looked him up. He lives in Colorado, which is ultimately how I came to live there too. The NFR is the SuperBowl of Rodeo and Bruce Ford has been there 18 times and won it 5 times. He's in the Rodeo Hall of Fame. In baseball terms, it's like getting advice from Babe Ruth. He didn’t teach me a bunch of stuff – he just reminded me what I need to do and made a few tweaks. Then I went back to Texas and started winning and I was just making a few, simple tweaks. Most things in life just involve a simple, little change – everyone wants to over complicate things.”
The Cowboy Way to the Shark Tank
I really wanted to a win world title then I got bucked off my mount and my leg got stuck in the strap. I got my head stepped on and when he saw me, my friend had that scared look. That ended my rodeo career. My face was smashed up pretty good and I ended up with 6 plates in my jaw. As I was lying in bed, I knew it was time to do something else; I had a feeling I had a bigger calling.”
“When I started the Lose 12 Inches and Cowboy Abs programs, it wasn't about making money; I wanted to inspire people. I rebuilt my life quickly and got my body and mind in shape. I wanted to open a work-out facility to teach my methods, I wanted to educate people on how to get results. It wasn't a typical gym model and banks wouldn't loan me the money because of that. I financed the whole thing on credit cards and proved them wrong. That's when I could start teaching the Cowboy Fit Zone.”
“The Cowboy Fit Zone uses a POLAR Heart Rate monitor. They have 90% of the global heart rate monitor market, but they sell to the cardio crowd, not the weight loss/fitness crowd. They were interested in how I used their product, so I spoke to a company rep before going on Shark Tank. The Cowboy Fit Zone will never go away because it works. I remember this one gal who was working out 5-6 times a week and seeing no results. When I got her on the Cowboy Fit Zone, she was working out 3-4 times a week and seeing results. Once people try my methods, they stay in the zone.
” I wanted to get my methods to a larger audience. I like Shark Tank, so I applied to the show last April (2012). I'm not a technical guy, I never check the voice mail on my cell phone, but a few weeks after I applied, my wife checked my phone and I had 150 voice mails and one of them was from Shark Tank! It was three weeks old, so I was thinking I blew it, but I guess it was meant to be!”
“The energy you saw on the show is really me. I knew if I went in and was myself, I had a good shot. I was glad to get an offer from Daymond. Oh my God, the website blew up that night. There were something like 28K visitors to the Lose 12 Inches site. I'm not much of a web guy, but Daymond got me set up on Shopify, so everything stayed up.”
Post Shark Tank Ryan Ehmann Update
Ryan has a lot on his plate following his Shark Tank appearance, including new workout DVD's and another shot at his abs machine.
“The abs machine I showed on Shark Tank is getting a second look. I invented it and licensed it to a company. They made some and then another guy came out with a less expensive version. They sold through the inventory in Germany and Austria got out of it. I made around $4,500 on the whole deal. We're taking another look at it to see if we can get the price point down.”
“I also have workout DVD's in the pipeline and I'm working on a licensing & certification program for personal trainers using the Cowboy Fit Zone work out software and heart rate watch. I initially wanted to stick with the Cowboy Fit Zone software, but I'm finding out people want the whole program.”
“For now, Daymond and his team see me as a brand. Daymond said he wants the world to meet me, so I am doing appearances. On March 23, I'm waving the starting flag at a NASCAR race and I'm traveling around to local gyms doing free Cowboy Fit Zone workouts to introduce people to the program.”
Ryan left me with a parting thought: “If you find success in this life, don't forget the people who helped you along the way.”
Shark Tank Blog will stay in touch and have Ryan Ehmann update us on his progress periodically.
I had one more question for Ryan. He answers it on The Hot Dog Truck.
WOO HOO! THAT'S WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT!!!