What do Penn Students, a former professional soccer player and your 86–year old grandpa have in common? They all use WeTrain.
Jonathan Sockol, an ’09 grad and a second year MBA student at Penn, created WeTrain last fall. WeTrain recently received a grant from Dorm Room Fund in mid–March, and also have partnered with Uber and Special Olympics. Street interviewed Jon to find out more about the app.
Street: Can you explain the conception behind your app?
JS: The goal is to create the Uber of personal training, and the coolest part is the the sessions are all under 30 bucks. So it grew out of the idea of… I used to be 200 pounds, but much heavier than I am today. I was just shocked, living in New York all of the fitness options are extremely expensive, in particular personal training.
It adds up really quickly. And then I met my cofounder, Zach. He was coming from the personal trainer side, and I didn’t realize, the trainers actually get very little of it [the money spent on personal training]. Everyone can afford our sessions at under 30 bucks, and hopefully we can bring a service that was previously reserved for just the affluent.
Street: So, can you kind of walk us through the app?
JS: Of course! You download the app in the iTunes store, you’re greeted with a couple of screens so we know what to do when we train you. Very basic details. When you want to train, what you want to focus on, how long you want to train and where you are. And as soon as you do that, you enter in some quick medical info that the trainers need in order to best serve you. You just hit request, and we do sessions scheduled in request or on demand.
Street: On demand?
JS: Yeah! They can bring all the equipment that you’ll need for the workout, but at the bare minimum they’re able to put you through a workout that uses no weights. We tell people, if you can make a snow angel in your apartment, we can train you. 40% of our sessions are in people’s living rooms. Think like, an insanity style workout. If you have an apartment gym, we can use weights, but we’re always thinking of creative ways to work you out.
All of these trainers are nationally certified, top tier and they earn 30% more than they would at the gym. I can guarantee that you’re going to get the best, most motivated trainer when they show up and you’re going to get an incredible burn.
Street: What’s your typical cliental?
JS: It’s crazy, we have no typical user: it’s a full spectrum. We’re not group fitness, but your own personal trainer, and we’re under $30. We have people who are 86 and have dementia, who need to train at home because they can’t go to the gym. We have former pro soccer players from Europe. I’m a huge nerd and I’m the first one to admit it, but the world of Warcraft type of people, like me, who could never really go into the gym and this is their first fitness/training experience. You get to do what is tough on your own, doing it safely and getting the results that you want to achieve
Street: How do you recruit trainers?
JS: We go through a lot of the national certification programs, to see people who have recently or are about to graduate. We have trainers who are students, trainers who are veterans [from his partner’s army/navy connections]. It was really tough at first, but now that we have established our brand name, and announced our Sweat Equity Program where trainers can be partners and participate in the upside of the company, we now have people coming to us.
Don’t believe us? Tech tried out the workouts for ourselves and had a personal trainer come to us. Or you can see for yourself— TRY A FREE TRAINING SESH USING OUR CODE AND SUFFER AS MUCH AS WE DID: FREE34