Meet Ulrich Dempfle, the CEO and co-founder of CAROL Bike. His journey from a mechanical engineer in Germany’s automotive industry to a healthcare system consultant and now fitness tech pioneer is as unique as it is inspiring.
From concept to CAROL
Transitioning from a successful career as a mechanical engineer in the automotive industry, Ulrich took a pivotal turn towards the healthcare system. His role as a management consultant for hospitals and healthcare systems, particularly in pioneering the use of AI for operational efficiency within UK health services, brought him face-to-face with the challenges of chronic disease management. Alongside his co-founders, Ulrich led programs for patients with diabetes and heart conditions, where he recognized exercise as a crucial, yet often underutilized intervention.
“We designed and managed chronic disease management programs, and exercise was (and is) one the most powerful and beneficial interventions for these patients – yet we struggled to get patients to work out. In fact, when it came to exercise, I struggled myself too. This is consistent with the wider population – less than 5% of Americans meet government guidelines for aerobic exercise.”
This personal challenge, coupled with the wider issue of exercise adherence in healthcare, led Ulrich and his co-founders to a big decision in 2012 – bringing Reduced-Exertion HIIT, or REHIT, to the wider public.
“Intrigued by the immense potential of REHIT, we saw an opportunity to revolutionize the approach to fitness. We knew we had to make this science accessible to everyone. That’s how CAROL Bike was born – a tech-driven solution to make optimal health and fitness achievable for all.”
Ulrich with an early edition of the CAROL Bike.
Ulrich's fitness evolution
Ulrich’s fitness narrative saw a significant shift as he entered his 40s. “In my younger years, I was active in sports for fun and competition. But as my career and family took precedence, exercise fell by the wayside.” It was at the age of 40 that Ulrich experienced a transformative moment: “I realized that health was not a ‘given’ but something that requires some effort and investment.”
The transformation came with CAROL Bike, enabling him to prioritize his health without compromising family time or work responsibilities. “The ease of the workout and the dramatic results I saw and felt made it easy to develop a sticky, healthy habit. CAROL quickly became a fixed part of my morning routine, same as brushing my teeth and having a shower. I don’t have to negotiate with myself whether I do it – it simply has become second nature.”
Ulrich has completed an impressive 1200 REHIT rides on CAROL Bike, each one as challenging as the last thanks to CAROL’s AI personalization. The workouts continuously adapt to his fitness level, ensuring that they remain challenging and effective, no matter how many rides he clocks.
Metrics and improvements
Since incorporating CAROL Bike into his life, Ulrich has seen impressive improvements. His Fitness Score skyrocketed from the low 30s to over 50. His VO2max now ranks in the top 10% for his age group, showcasing the effectiveness of consistent REHIT workouts.
Ulrich's impressive metrics regularly rank him in the top 10 for Fitness Score and Peak Power in the CAROL weekly leaderboards.
Fitness Score is CAROL's measure of cardiovascular fitness. Ulrich has overseen a huge improvement in his Fitness Score from the low 30s to over 50.
Ulrich’s focus now extends to strength training: “After turning my cardio fitness around, I have become passionate about strength training too. It’s just another critical pillar of health and fitness. In fact, just last week I hit my short-term goal to deadlift 4 plates (405lbs/180kg). Now, my goal is to hit 200kg (440lb) – but really, the sky is the limit!”
As for CAROL, he shares, “Long-term, we’d love to launch a CAROL strength trainer, staying true to our mission of efficient, accessible fitness. And of course, we are fully invested in continually optimizing CAROL Bike, ensuring new features, workouts and software are updated as the science of REHIT and efficient exercise evolves.”
A holiday message from Ulrich
As the festive season unfolds, Ulrich invites you to join him in a reflective and optimistic message for the holidays and the new year.
For more from Ulrich, including deep dives into CAROL Bike’s science and habit-building strategies, check out the ultimate CAROL Bike resource video here.
And from all of us here at CAROL, wishing you a very happy holidays and prosperous New Year.
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