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Bahram Akradi

Over 30 years ago, Life Time started as a vision, imagined as a place that would encompass all aspects of health, including physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. We envisioned it as a third space where people could spend time on their own, as well as connect with others in the community. We dreamed it would make an impact by supporting healthy people, a healthy planet, and a healthy way of life.

Our ambitions were massive, but we had to start somewhere. Guided by our mantra — “think big, start small, move fast” — we broke ground on our first club in Eagan, Minn., in 1993 and opened its doors on Labor Day in 1994.

Many people thought we were in over our heads — and maybe even a bit crazy (though we prefer to think of it as tenacious) — but we didn’t let that stop us. We knew we were onto something. Today, there are more than 170 Life Time athletic country clubs across the United States and Canada and more than 1.5 million members who turn to us to help them reach their healthy-living goals.

With a member-centric point of view guiding us, we’ve innovated and led the way in the health and wellness category. Our comprehensive ecosystem delivers programs and offerings that provide something for everyone, whether they’re 90 days or 90 years old.

Like all organizations, we’ve experienced our share of ups and downs. COVID-19, for instance, presented many challenges, but it also came with an unexpected gift: When our physical clubs closed, we had to quickly reconsider how we were serving our members from afar. The result was the Life Time app.

Born of necessity, this at-your-fingertips technology is what’s enabling us to make more significant progress toward our vision of empowering individuals everywhere to lead healthier, happier lives.

Many people thought we were in over our heads, but we didn’t let that stop us. We knew we were onto something.

An encapsulation of years of experience and knowledge about all things fitness, nutrition, and wellness, the app is free of charge as of earlier this year. It features our best classes taught by top ­performers, our proven fitness and nutrition coach­ing programs, our informational and inspirational podcast, and full access to the award-winning content from our magazine, Experience Life.

There are also meditations for better sleep, focus, stress management, and mindfulness, plus ways for athletes to register for races and view their results.

The app allows us to reach and support more people (whether they live near a Life Time or not) as they pursue health and wellness on their terms.

Author, New York Times columnist, and cultural commentator David Brooks uses the analogy of two mountains to describe how we move through our lives. The first mountain represents the individual focus we have as we strive to make it in the world; it’s about what we can accomplish and the skills we can build as we search for success.

The second mountain represents the quest for deeper purpose and the fulfillment that comes from contri­buting to something bigger. The question we ask as we move between the mountains shifts from “What can I get?” to “What can I give?”

A flowing river offers a similar analogy. As it makes its way toward the sea, with tributaries pouring into it, there’s a natural equilibrium of give and take.

Like the river and that second mountain, we’ve reached a point at Life Time where we can focus more on giving. We can do this because, after the challenges of COVID, our organization is once again thriving thanks to the love and loyalty of our members and the commitment to excellence by our team members. Our clubs are busier than ever, with many now having membership waitlists (and we expect more to have them in the months ahead).

Three decades of hard work have brought us to a place where each additional action we take can have a broader impact, affecting substantially more people for the better. The complimentary Life Time app is the latest effort to contribute to the greater good on a grander scale.

We are beyond grateful for the opportunity to continue to serve in this capacity. Every day, we say a prayer: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Check it out for yourself!

Download the Life Time App for your
iPhone and Apple Watch or through Google Play.

download on the app store
Bahram Akradi
Bahram Akradi

Bahram Akradi is the founder, chairman, and CEO of Life Time. Hear more from him at

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