When we’re young, we have more access to sports and fitness options through school, extracurricular activities, and plain old play. Not only do these activities promote good health at an early age, but they also provide a social outlet. Recent studies have shown that 62% of children in the U.S. play organized sports in order to interact with their friends. But as we get older, our entrée to fitness and its benefits — both physical and emotional — becomes more difficult to find and afford.
But now a new fitness app called Handstand is making it easier and more financially viable for users to get a good workout with a trained professional. It’s being referred to as the “Uber of Fitness Trainers,” since the app allows users to book a trainer for a reasonable price on-demand.
When you work with a trainer in a gym, that trainer usually sees only a very small fraction of what a customer pays for a gym membership. The founder and CEO of Headstand, Tiffany O. Hakimianpour, said that when she learned her trainer saw only a $20 payment from the $150 she was paying her gym for the session, she knew she had an idea for a business. She found the traditional process of scheduling a training session in advance to be inconvenient, inefficient, and expensive. As independent contractors, the app allows freelance fitness trainers to make much more than they’d earn during a session at a fitness club or gym. Handstand’s intention is for users to pay half as much as they’d normally pay for a session.
Within the app, trainers can add their availability and session types. Then, the user can log in and either book one session or a session membership (consisting of four or eight sessions), which renews every month. When you have a larger membership, the rate of each session will be less. The trainer then makes 80% of the session’s cost, with Handstand taking the other 20%. The user can choose location, date, time, and workout type and can book a session with a trainer who fits the criteria. Headstand offers around 50 different types of workouts, so users can choose to focus on one type of exercise with one trainer or switch it up with many trainers.
The app’s creators want to make it easy for both trainers and clients to schedule these sessions, and it seems like they’re doing something right. Their current retention rate is quite high. Since its debut in June of 2015, Headstand has already added 3,000 users and 2,000 trainers to its ranks. The app is currently available in Los Angeles and Orange County, with the intention to expand to other major cities like Boston, New York, San Francisco, and Chicago.
Hakimianpour also has intentions to partner with gyms in order to eliminate the problems she encountered when she was first scheduling training sessions. She says that the future of health lies with trainers, and that she wants to work with, rather than against, gyms. She adds that Handstand differs from Uber because fitness lends itself to progress; rather than providing a one-time service, users are keeping up with their sessions and incorporating them into their lifestyle. Ultimately, these types of technological advancements help freelance fitness trainers take control of their income while allowing clients to save time and money.