( ENSPIRE Man Code 101 ) Naqam Washington Innovates Strength Conditioning With Arazi Gloves, Improves Product With COVID-19 in Mind
ENSPIRE Contributor: Adam Cetorelli
Naqam Washington has worked in the fitness industry since 1999, starting as a New York health club fitness director and eventually becoming a celebrity trainer, helping stars like Diddy, Cassie, Patrick Ewing, and Penny Hardaway stay fit. Through his work training athletes, Washington identified a key missing component in their strength conditioning: a secondary source of resistance. In traditional strength training, a dumbbell, barbell, weighted ball, or other instrument is maneuvered to build muscle, but this method only allows for one source of resistance. In 2015, Washington designed the Arazi Fitness Glove to address this missed opportunity and introduce that second source of resistance. The Arazi Fitness Gloves are equipped with D-rings on the dorsal (back) sides of the hand, where exercise bands can be attached to add more weight and a new direction of resistance.
Washington launched a Kickstarter campaign to secure preliminary funding for the production of the gloves and get feedback on the product, which he sent to backers who pledged $35 or more. He soon reached his $10,000 goal and has since been selling the gloves and other exercise equipment—including the Arazi Vest, which similarly has D-rings attached for dynamic resistance training—on the Arazi Fitness website. Arazi products are designed in the US and manufactured in China.
The original Arazi Fitness Gloves were designed with a combination of leather, suede, and mesh to provide grip, comfort, and quality. Always an innovator, however, Washington saw an opportunity to improve his product in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, and he switched the material to an antimicrobial fabric to help prevent the spread of bacteria. Customers will be able to choose between a fingerless glove and a full-glove model, both of which will be ready for the 2020 holiday season. A new antimicrobial Arazi Vest will also be available by the end of the year.
“I did not want to use my name for this business venture. Once I made this decision, the universe sent a man my way whom I thought would support me. This gentleman sold me dreams of a perfect business plan, and in this business plan had several options for my product name. I picked Arazi because it sounded cool, and I was told Arazi meant ‘Alter the Body.’ The reality was that I overpaid, and discovered Arazi meant nothing of the sort. Not all was lost, however, and with creative thinking, I put something together. Ara means to alter, azi means today, and together it means ‘Alter the Day.’ And of course, you have the ability to alter the day with exercise. Find me anyone who doesn’t leave a workout happy, refreshed, and accomplished. Arazi – Alter the Day.”NAQAM WASHINGTON
Arazi Fitness products are for use in sports training, physiotherapy, and everyday workouts, making them a versatile product that meets a variety of consumer needs. Washington is eager to bring his products to its many potential users, “My commitment is to take this glove and have it be the number one fitness glove in the world. I see evidence that I am on the right path.”
Find out more about Arazi Fitness and purchase the Arazi Fitness Gloves and Vests on arazifitness.com.