Scanning the Personal Trainer | PYMNTS.com
It goes like clockwork at the start of each year: Consumers who feel bad about the previous eight weeks of overeating and indolence repent and join a gym. Gym memberships peak nationally as the well-meaning resolution that this will be the year they get in shape.
But despite everyone’s best intentions in January, by February most people have settled back into their old routines – and over 80 percent of New Years resolutions have been dotted.
As to why so many people fail, the answers vary. Some set goals that are too ambitious and get discouraged, others have goals that are too vague and others are insufficiently committed. But Akshay Ahooja, founder of Trainiac, said the main reason most people fail is because fitness is not actually an easy goal to pursue or achieve. Most people aren’t experts, and just getting into the gym and trying the elliptical trainer isn’t going to get them to achieve their goals. Plus, since this is a lone chase, it’s easy to get away from it. Fitness over time is all about establishing and maintaining a routine – an activity the vast majority of people will need help with, he said.
“The most effective and well-known way to get into a long-term routine is to work one-on-one with an expert,” Ahooja Noted.
Ahooja learned this from personal experience when he decided to get in shape for his wedding and retained the services of a personal trainer. It worked extremely well – as long as he worked with said trainer. Once he got married and gave up the relationship, his fitness routine was gone with her.
This is how the concept of Trainiac was born – an iPhone app-enabled marketplace that allows consumers to work one-on-one with a personal trainer, digitally. This trainer then helps the client create and maintain long-term fitness goals and plans.
The personal touch, Ahooja noted, was not necessarily part of the original design – Trainiac experimented to fulfill this function with artificial intelligence (AI) and robots, as a few other fitness apps in the field have done. . What Trainiac kept coming back to, Ahooja said, is that while both things can perhaps enhance the service offered by the app, at the core, the human-to-human interaction between trainer and client is essential to obtain a successful result. A human might ignore a bot or automated message reminding them it’s time to hit the gym. Another human being is a little harder to ignore.
“There’s this assumption that if you give trainers the technology, everything will work, or if you replace that trainer with AI, everything will work,” Ahooja said. “For a client to truly develop a long-term fitness habit, it’s not just about giving them more and more options. It’s about helping them build something that works for their lifestyle and their own personal struggle.
That’s why, he said, Trainiac invests heavily in training its trainers, from in-person fitness trainers only to online digital fitness guides able to work with clients on a variety of platforms. This is bolstered behind the scenes by integrations with Apple Health, Nike +, Strava, and over 50 other workout apps so customers and trainers can easily share data about workouts and fitness products.
The goal, according to Ahooja, is to become central in all aspects of the client’s fitness life by allowing them to easily connect to the in-pocket trainer for a variety of needs.
The service for consumers costs $ 80 per month. Trainers on the platform are contractors paid based on how long their clients stay on the platform and how well they stick to their fitness goals.
And as for the company, its New Year’s goal is to grow and go out. While Trainiac doesn’t release many specific numbers, it says it has around 50 trainers on the platform and claims its customer base has grown 600% year over year. With $ 2.2 million in new funding secured at the end of 2019, the plan for 2020 will be to make small fitness FinTech a bigger player in an increasingly popular field.