Finding a personal trainer is kind of like trying to score that perfect piece you saw in the Barneys window at a super-crowded sample sale: it’s a really huge hassle, you lose a lot of money, and you often don’t end up getting what you want.
A new tech company, Find Your Trainer (FYT), wants to change that, with a platform that makes finding and booking your dream muscle-sculptor as easy as ordering Thai on Seamless (just with way more health benefits). Find Your Trainer launched in July 2013 with 15 available trainers on the site and now has more than 100, and the number of sessions booked grew by more than 400 percent between November and December.
“My co-founder and I had a shared experience where we had a hard time finding personal trainers at our gyms,” says David Hung, who founded the company with Evan Karp. “You have talk to the sales guy, you don’t get to choose who the trainer is, they push this whole package on you before you’ve even tried it. This is a really old school industry that’s not technology enabled or consumer friendly.” Until now.
Here’s how it works: You enter your zip code and FYT (pronounced “fit”) generates a list of trainers at gyms near you, from big brands like DavidBartonGym to boutique favorites like Peak Performance to small gems like Right Fit. (Even at membership-based gyms, you don’t have to be a member to book a session.)
Each trainer comes with location, a list of available time slots, photos (in case you’re also looking for a toned mate?), and some details about their education, certifications, and their style or specialties. The last point is key, says Hung. “One really important thing is that you can filter by trainer specialties. We’ve got experts in CrossFit, yoga, Pilates, strength training, kickboxing, prenatal, postnatal, muscle gain.” In other words, it’s not one size fits all.
Rates vary by gym, but Hung says they’re generally 20 to 50 percent cheaper than if you booked at the facility. And since you can schedule one session at a time, you don’t have to tap into your savings in order to get started.
Right now, FYT’s reach is mostly within Manhattan, but in the coming months, Hung hopes to expand to the outer boroughs, New Jersey, and Long Island, with a national roll-out to follow.
Maybe he could also introduce a better automated system for finding that sample sale item online, too? —Lisa Elaine Held
For more information, visit www.findyourtrainer.com