Former championship boxer Michael Olajide, Jr., co-founder of Aerospace, was among the first to offer a training program incorporating the moves of boxing, other sports and jumping rope. More than many other trainers, he would have fair claim to view his approach as proprietary. But he welcomes competitors to take his classes.
“I get other teachers all the time,” he told ABC News. “You do kind of wonder if they’re coming here with the intention of creating their own thing. That’s always the fear of the originator. But it’s also a strong motivator: You want to keep building what you started. You can’t be afraid that somebody might copy you. My knowledge isn’t so limited that I feel protective.”
Nonetheless, he’s copyrighted some of what he does. And when a competitor tries to imitate his approach, he added, “You feel ... 'Wow! I’ve been ripped off.'”
Where things get tricky, he says, is when a competitor doesn’t copy but instead comes up with their own variation.
“But cycling?” he asked in tones of amazement.
That seems to him to be something hard to protect.
“It’s a bike. You’re pedaling,” he said.
Gonzalez said he bears no ill will toward SoulCycle or Equinox.
"I'm fine with it," he said. "There are a lot of other places out there to go for fitness."