Finding the right personal trainer is a lot like dating.
Some of us are looking for something strictly laid back – meeting up every now and then after work for new exercises and extra motivation. Others want a deep, long-term commitment: someone to talk to about their dreams and aspirations, to work with, and to achieve lifelong fitness goals.
Chances are, your ideal partner isn’t the trainer who just works out in your gym.
RightFit personal training, a Chicago-based marketplace for personal trainers, takes a page from the online dating manual. The startup uses surveys completed by consumers to connect them with a potential trainer.
“For some people, personal training can be like a therapy session,” said founder Matthew Kornblatt. “Some people use their sessions to talk about their days and what is stressing them. And some coaches are better at handling this than others.
The training survey covers questions about the fitness goals and personality preferences of coaches, as well as logistical questions such as where they want to train, what their budget is and if they have a preference. gender. Once the client has completed a survey, the startup can contact them to ask additional questions.
If you really wanted to create an Uber or Tinder for personal training, that wouldn’t work.
Once the match is over, RightFit offers a range of package options, ranging from 30-minute group sessions to one-hour one-on-one sessions.
For trainers, Kornblatt said, RightFit provides the opportunity to build their client lists and stand out in a crowded market.
“A lot of coaches are good at personal training, but they don’t want to have to do the marketing and advertising themselves,” he said. “And many don’t like handling billing, scheduling and processing payments, which we also take care of. “
Kornblatt said RightFit is also lowering the bar for consumers to try out a new trainer, as packages purchased through the platform are fully transferable.
“The vast majority of our clients, however, stick with the same trainer and buy multiple packages to continue working with them,” Kornblatt said. “We see this as an indication that our pairing is quite effective. “
In the early days of RightFit, Kornblatt sought to make this matching process on demand and fully algorithmic. But after experimenting with a few different approaches, he found that a mixture of technology and human touch worked best.
“If you really wanted to create an Uber or a Tinder for personal training, that wouldn’t work,” Kornblatt said. “A lot of people want someone to work with for the long haul and who can watch them achieve their goals. It’s hard to accomplish by jumping from coach to coach.
In its current version, RightFit has been around since 2014. Kornblatt said the market lists hundreds of trainers in Chicago and a growing network in cities like Houston, Austin, Denver, and New York.
The primed startup is also developing special offers for the corporate wellness market.