Missing the camaraderie of a group fitness class but still wary about returning to the gym?
One Colorado Springs startup has a solution.
The site helps two groups of people, says founder Jacob Montoya: those looking for a live fitness class from the security of their home and personal trainers who, these days, are doing less in-person training.
“A trainer can use like a Zoom call to schedule a training session,” Montoya says, “but the complexity that that adds is they have to figure out who has access to that Zoom call, share links with people, make sure those links are not shared with others, how to do payment. We’re trying to make that a seamless experience all on one platform.”
Local yoga instructor Suzanne Mariska says that goal has been accomplished; she finds the platform “remarkably user-friendly with a low learning curve — it’s very ‘click and go.’”
She already had moved to teaching online when yoga studios and gyms closed under the state’s stay-at-home order, she wrote in an email. She discovered FindTrainGain through a fitness instructor job site and saw it as “a great opportunity to offer the powerful benefits of yoga and physical fitness to more people.”
“After months of working through the challenges of online meetings and distance learning, I think people will really appreciate this easy-to-use platform where they can choose from all kinds of classes to fit their schedule and fitness needs,” she says.
Those classes — from dance to yoga to cardio boxing to core strength and balance — typically cost $5 to join. Instructors who want to use the site must sign up for a FitSW premium account, starting at $9.99 a month, though Montoya is offering local instructors the opportunity to sign up for free.
FindTrainGain classes aren’t like watching a video or a livestreamed performance; they’re interactive.
“With our platform, the client can choose to see just the trainer or they can see the trainer and everyone else in their class,” Montoya says. There’s also the opportunity for back-and-forth between trainer and client, he says.
“The feedback we got from trainers was, ‘There are thousands of videos out there on YouTube, but what I can do is offer the personalized aspect,’” Montoya says. So that led to the development of features such as showing the client’s name above the video feed and allowing the trainer to say, for example, “Hey, Brian, you’re doing great; keep your arms up a bit more.”
Down the road, Montoya says, the site might be able to integrate technology such as a Fitbit or Apple Watch so that the trainer could, among other things, monitor a client’s heart rate. He’s also looking at ways to better integrate FitSW’s software and the new site.
“There are a lot of opportunities for both platforms to work together to offer some really cool technological solutions,” he says.