SNEWS® Live: Augie Nieto, Life Fitness founder, on success, ALS and significance (Part 1)

Life Fitness founder Augie Nieto has lived a life that many would perhaps envy, building a global multi-million-dollar company and kicking off the era of modern fitness equipment. Today, however, he is spending his entrepreneurial energy fighting ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease. SNEWS® Live sat down with Nieto recently to discuss the early days, the current state of the industry and his battle with ALS.

This edition of SNEWS® Live is brought to you by Octane Fitness

SNEWS® Live: As a young and passionate entrepreneur 28 years ago, Augie Nieto stumped the country to drum up interest in a computerized stationary bike called the Lifecycle that he was convinced could revolutionize working out. After going deeply into debt, he finally had to give them away to achieve success. But success he did find and he built on that to create the company that would become Life Fitness. When he retired in 2002 in his early 40s, he was ready to indulge in his passion for fitness and to nurture other young fitness companies as a mentor and investor.

The dreams changed dramatically three years later when he was diagnosed with “amyotrophic lateral sclerosis,” otherwise known as ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease, a condition until this year without known cause or cure. Waiting to die, however, is not what Nieto is all about (Augie's Quest was founded to raise ALS funds and awareness). As he told SNEWS®, he had success.... now he has significance.

In the first of a two-part SNEWS® Live broadcast, Nieto looks back at the fitness industry's roots, discusses the present, looks at what lies ahead for fitness … and does a hard stare-down with what life and ALS may hold for him.