Real talk. As amazing as it sounds in theory, personal training has never really been in the budget. As much as I'd like the extra accountability and expertise of a trainer to push myself, the cost (and in the days of COVID-19, the trip to the gym) has kept me from exercising as I'd like to. However, it is 2023, a date that feels solidly futuristic, and so I'm here to tell you about the Future Fitness app, a new app that pairs you with a personal trainer—all digitally—to help you reach your fitness goals.
As noted in our Well+Good 2022 Trends report, we expected that offerings like this one that make personal trainers digitally available would only increase in popularity over the year. And we were right. While more people are returning to the gym, you can complete these personalized workouts from anywhere. That flexibility is something we've all come to appreciate. Get in now while Future is offering the first 30 days free—and read my experience with the Future Fitness app below if you're on the fence. (Spoiler alert: I'm hooked...and sore!)
What it's like to get started
The system is simple—and the technology and training are incredibly impressive. A (real!) personal trainer delivers you tailored weekly workouts along with coaching and support. And it's targeted to anyone, at any level of fitness—including people who are just dipping their toes into working out all the way to Olympic-level athletes such as Kat Holmes, a Team USA Fencer and Olympic athlete who said the program “enables my strength and conditioning coach to be everywhere with me, whether I’m training at home or competing on the Olympic state.”
After signing up at future.co and claiming a spot (these are real trainers, so memberships are limited), I filled out a super detailed intake questionnaire, exactly like you would prior to any sort of one-on-one training, with questions like where I typically workout, what I like in a trainer, if I have any specific needs or interests they should pay attention to, and which type of coach would best suit my personality, workout style, and goals.
I am five months post-partum and just diving back into the fitness world in hopes of regaining strength and getting used to a new version of my body than I had pre-little one. I’d also love to feel a bit more energized despite the sleep deprivation (thanks so much, 3 a.m. nursing sessions!). I was able to share all of this information ahead of being matched with a trainer.
The highly personalized intake process led me to a selection of four custom-picked trainers that fit my needs. I chose an amazing coach, Tiffany, who specializes in biomechanics and rehabilitation for pre and postnatal bodies and also loves the outdoors. Mind blown. Enthusiasm initiated. During our scheduled FaceTime call, Tiffany dove in, asking all about my fitness habits, how I was feeling in early motherhood, my interests, what equipment I had, and much more. For instance, I am not a runner but said I would love a weekly workout that’s outside like cross-country skiing.
To start off, Tiffany decided to focus on my pelvic floor and strengthening my core. We decided on three workouts a week to get me back into the swing of things, one of which would be outside. After a quick tutorial on when to expect workouts to be delivered, how to use the app, and a few tips on making sure my Apple Watch was all synced up, I felt ready and pumped.
What it's like to train on the app
It's better if you have an Apple Watch
The Future app technology is only available for iPhones, but stay tuned, Android users. Although not required, the experience is so much more streamlined if you have an Apple Watch.
Expect a workout tailored to you
This isn’t some generic experience. This is hyper-individualized. My first workout was a back-to-the-basics 40-minute sweat sesh that only used my bodyweight with videos for each movement. The videos are easily viewed on your phone and controlled with a simple touch from your Apple Watch. My coach recorded pre-set messages that played before specific sections to talk me through a move that needed a little extra attention and alert me as to which exercises to record. A simple record button shares your form with your coach so they can effortlessly provide tips and make sure you are getting the most of the move, not to mention preventing injuries. I felt clumsy with the app for just a moment, but then it felt easy breezy. Pro tip: Have a way to prop up your phone for ease of viewing or share your screen on your laptop or TV.
You have easy access to your trainer
My coach is available via messaging on the app for check-ins, encouragement, and help. We also scheduled another FaceTime check-in to see how I was doing after a week or so of my training.
It's not a set-it-and-forget-it model
This app is all about real life, which is unexpected. Life gets busy, days get full, and weather changes…the Future app and your coach adjust to meet you where you are at. For my Friday workout, I was ready to hit the trail for a cross-country ski, but gusty winds made the trails a no-go. I messaged Tiffany and she quickly updated my workout plan for a session on the spin bike. She kept my accountability on point and I still got in a great workout. Here’s to the future!
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