On-demand workouts are priced the same as 1-on-1 workouts, which cost $29 per half-hour session for non-members. Users can specify what type of activity they’d like to do (Yoga, Pilates, Martial Arts, Aerobics, etc.) and whether they prefer a male or female trainer. They can also limit the request to only trainers they’ve followed through the service.
Once a session is requested, Wello notifies eligible trainers about the opening. If an available trainer takes the class, you’ll receive a confirmation email with a link to the session. If it’s your first class, Wello will walk you through downloading the browser plugin and checking your connection and workout space.
Wello co-founder Leslie Silverglide said in an interview that the on-demand feature has been highly requested by its members, but the startup waited until it had enough scale to make sure requests will get filled.
Silverglide and fellow co-founder Ann Scott Plante came up with the idea for Wello while doing DVD workouts together. The pair appreciated the flexibility of working out at home, but they wanted the motivation and encouragement that comes from having a relationship with a personal trainer.
Going to the gym and hiring a personal trainer in real-life can be prohibitively expensive for many. Wello also works well for professionals with heavy travel schedules and parents who have a hard time getting out of the house.
Remote workouts also give you a bit of privacy if you’re interested in trying something new, but are feeling a bit self conscious. I would never just walk into a yoga studio on my own, but I chose it as an option on Wello for my first workout.
Wello launched last year starting with 1-on-1 sessions before adding group workouts this February. Last month, the firm introduced monthly membership plans.
Wello’s trainers have job-level certifications and at least two years of experience. The startup works with each of them to help them transfer their craft to the video chat format. Plante said the firm’s trainers are paid better than the average rate nationwide, and working with clients from a number of different time zones allows trainers to fill hours that would have otherwise remained empty. In that sense, the platform brings similar benefits to the ones I hear from UberX drivers when I ask them whether the service has improved their livelihood.
Given the number of failed New Year’s Resolutions that most of us have each year, physical fitness is an area of our lives that could use some help. With its new on-demand service, Wello manages to make working out both convenient and affordable. Now that you can hire a personal trainer almost anywhere and anytime, there won’t be many excuses left the next time January 1 rolls around.
Image credit: Shutterstock / Umkehrer