June 8th, 2023 // Even if you’ve never heard of biohacking, you’re surely familiar with certain hacks like intermittent fasting, adding butter to your morning coffee, taking cold plunges, or wearing fitness-tracking technology. All of these are examples of the do-it-yourself biology hacking that has grown in popularity over the years, thanks in no small part to Dave Asprey, the so-called “father” of biohacking. Asprey has spent over two decades doing research and working with doctors, scientists, and global markets to uncover the latest and greatest biohacking technology. In 2017 he founded Upgrade Labs so that people could have access to these life-changing technologies as easily as going to your local gym. Now, Upgrade Labs’ first franchise location is opening June 10, in Meridian, with all the technology and modalities needed to make you into the best version of you.
Meridian Upgrade Labs owners Hailey Smith and Becky Granden each came to biohacking and Asprey’s particular version of it in their own way. Granden’s affinity for Asprey’s work started in 2016 when she found out her home was full of toxic mold, which was the driving force of many health issues she was experiencing. It took years of biohacking trial and error (and a home renovation) to get her health back on track. “Once I saw just how beneficial biohacking was for my health, I knew I wanted to make these services more accessible to my family, friends, and community. I’m very passionate about helping others biohack their way to true health. Being Dave’s first franchise is just the icing on the cake.”
Granden was the one to introduce Smith to Asprey, in 2017, by way of his podcast Bulletproof Radio. After listening for years and delving into the biohacking world, Smith jumped at the chance to open an Upgrade Labs franchise when the opportunity presented itself. The duo met while working at Boise Cascade over 10 years ago, and while both women have spent the last few years working in finance (Granden will continue to work her day job as an accountant while Smith has left her corporate tax management role to pursue Upgrade Labs full-time), their passion for biohacking makes them the perfect franchise owners.
“Hailey and Becky could not be a more perfect fit to join the Upgrade Labs family,” said Asprey. “We are so excited to see the positive impact Upgrade Labs will bring to the Meridian community and to continue to watch Hailey and Becky thrive in their new business.”
Upgrade Labs is built around eight technologies divided by use for performance or recovery. On the performance side are the adaptive AI bike, the Cheat Machine, Vibe, and the Oxygen Trainer. The AI recovery bike is an artificial intelligence–enhanced stationary bike that adapts to your body, giving you the perfect cardio workout and delivering the benefits of a 40-minute run in just eight minutes. The Cheat Machine is an adaptive resistance form of strength training which gets users the same results of a 45-minute workout in less than 15 minutes. Vibe is a whole-body vibration plate that encourages lymphatic movement, rapid muscular contractions, and systemic circulation to provide an effective warm up or workout. The Oxygen Trainer is used for a passive 24-minute workout that delivers alternating oxygen-rich and oxygen-reduced air to encourage maximum oxygenated blood flow to boost immunity and cardiovascular performance.
If it wasn’t obvious from the descriptions of these performance technologies, the goal is to get in your workout much quicker and more efficiently than logging hours at the gym. “The beauty of Upgrade Labs is everything is super efficient, so you can get in and get out,” said Granden.
On the recovery side are four technologies: the Big Squeeze, PEMF, the REDCharger, and Cryotherapy. The Big Squeeze is a full-body lymphatic detox massage, which boosts the immune system, slims the body, expels toxins, and is good for muscle recovery. PEMF (pulsed electromagnetic field therapy) helps to activate the body’s natural healing mechanisms, increasing energy production, immunity, detoxification and more in just a 12-minute service—the strongest commercially available PEMF. The REDCharger bed surrounds your body with red and infrared LEDs to promote muscle recovery, decrease inflammation, increase collagen, and more. Last is cryotherapy, a two-to-three-minute whole-body chill at -166 to -220 degrees, which is beneficial for pain relief, lowering inflammation, recovery, immunity, and energy.
Reading the descriptions of these technologies might make them sound like some sort of alien, elite world for professional athletes or those with serious health issues. But the beauty of Upgrade Labs is that these modalities are available for anyone, no matter their background, and can be done affordably with better results in less time. “Everyone that comes in has a different health background and reasons for utilizing our services, whether they’re there for performance and wanting to get to the next level in their sports field or really looking for recovery—it’s not just for people in fitness,” says Granden. “We also serve those in the community that are looking for extra support on their healing journeys, whether that’s injury or illness. Really, it’s our mission to upgrade humanity and help our members become the strongest, healthiest version of themselves, and they get to choose what that means to them.”
In addition to the performance and recovery aspects of Upgrade Labs, there’s also the Brain Upgrade station, which uses real-time neurofeedback to get your brain into the alpha brain wave state, giving you the benefits of meditation, but much faster.
Upgrade Labs Meridian will also feature a Danger Coffee Bar (Asprey pivoted from his famous Bulletproof Coffee to a new line of Danger Coffee), which will serve coffee that’s third-party tested to be mold free and has introduced electrolytes and 50 trace minerals, helping to hydrate you while you drink it. Coffee will be served Dangerous style, blended with MCT oil and grass-fed butter.
To visit the facility there are three options: an unlimited membership available right now at a founding member rate of $329/month (founding member rate is good through June 11) and gives members access to three upgrades a day. This includes coming in for a baseline assessment, where Upgrade Labs staff can help generate a protocol based on that assessment and a cell health analysis. If someone else in the household wishes to join that membership, they will get $75 off the second membership. Founding members also get a 10% retail discount and new member bundle. The next option is a six-pack of upgrades for $219, which is good for 60 days. Single upgrades are available for $39. Six-pack and single upgrades do not have access to the REDCharger and cryotherapy.
The June 10 grand opening will include facility tours, technology demos, raffle prizes, goods from local vendors, and a book signing with Asprey, who will be in attendance.
“I think people are ready to take more control and responsibility over their health and happiness,” said Granden. “As Idaho natives, we’re just thrilled to serve our community in this way.”