Sport | Diary of a Somebody

Nerio Alessandri

The Technogym founder suggests that gym equipment might make its way into the Museum of Modern Art

Nerio Alessandri

July 26 2011
Nerio Alessandri

Day: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

Today and as often as possible my day starts with a 6.30am workout. My trainer, Simonetta, waits for me in the private gym at home. We go through a circuit workout – a combination of cardio and strength training. I start off on the Run Personal. While running, I catch up on the news, thanks to the built-in TV screen. We then move to the Kinesis Personal, my favourite, and then onto Recline Personal, Technogym’s latest creation. Here I usually breeze through my favourite websites while I have the chance.

Today it’s the whole family for breakfast, my wife and I, plus our son and daughter. This is no longer a regular occurrence, so I am delighted. After some fruit, an espresso and a good family catch-up, I am off to the office at 8.30am. When I am in Cesena, my home town and home to Technogym’s headquarters, I drive myself to the office in my Audi A8. The HQ is only 10 minutes from home.

Every day I have a five-minute meeting with Valentina, my long-serving, late-working PA. It is like a ritual – she hands me the agenda for the day and like clockwork it goes into my jacket pocket. The work day has kicked off.

My 9am meeting is about Technogym’s involvement in the 2012 London Olympics. Tony and his UK team have flown in from London to download the latest. This is Technogym’s fifth Olympics – after Sydney 2000, Athens 2004, Turin 2006 and Beijing 2008 as exclusive official supplier of athlete training technologies. This Olympics is not just a sporting event but more of a vehicle for social change, in terms of lifestyle. The goal is simply to get people moving based on the alarming statistics, indicating cardiovascular disease as the first cause of death in the world. This is going to be a key focus later in the week (more to come on Thursday’s posting!)

At 11am, I walk over to the design centre to speak to my colleagues about prototypes. We’re currently working on Cross Personal, which is set to debut at Salone de Mobile in April 2012. People often don’t understand why Technogym exhibits at Salone de Mobile, one of the world’s most important design forums. The reason is that we don’t see our products as just fitness machines; they are lifestyle solutions that are integrated into people’s lives. We design them to be state-of-the-art functional exercise pieces that you might also one day see in the Museum of Modern Art in New York alongside an Alvar Aalto vase or a Le Corbusier chair.

I have lunch with Enrico, our media relations manager, to discuss the US press trip which is coming up at end of August. We’ve just launched a Technogym consumer store on Greene Street, SoHo, New York – our first store in the US, therefore, we’re focused on educating the Americans on our brand. Regardless of where I’m eating lunch, I always have a balanced meal, sticking to one third protein, one third carbohydrates and one third vegetables.

In the afternoon, Antonio Citterio, one of the most acclaimed Italian designers, arrives from Milan. He designed the Bulgari hotel it Milan, as well as many iconic pieces of furniture. He is collaborating with me on the design of The Technogym Village, which will be the new 60,000sq m headquarters, and yes, still under construction. Antonio has been collaborating with the brand for many years and has become a dear friend.

The Technogym Village is hugely exciting and innovative – believe it or not, it will be the first European wellness campus where we will also design, manufacture and market our products. This is not an average company’s headquarters, it is a destination venue – open to everybody willing to learn more about wellness. Thanks to the gym and additional sporting facilities, restaurant, specialised library and convention centre which will run an annual programme of different events on various aspects of wellness, we expect to have 20,000 visitors a year.

After our site tour, we head for home, Palazzo Romagnoli. Antonio joins the family for a glass of prosecco and dinner. After so many years, it would be simply an insult to send him back to Milan without a meal! He decides to stay over and hitch a ride back to Milan with me early tomorrow. So lights out at the Palazzo by 10:30pm...

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