Remember the good old days when going on vacation or a business trip meant sitting back, relaxing, and not working out because there wasn’t a gym or trainer nearby? Well, those excuses have just run out, because Wello allows users to put a personal trainer in their pocket — complete with customized workouts and coaching. All that’s needed is an Internet connection.
Hello Wello! — What Is It?
Wello is the brainchild of two business school students, Ann Scott and Leslie Silverglide, who had a simple goal: make working out easier. Wello provides a personal, gym-standard training experience delivered through live video sessions (it’s sort of like Skype — both people can see each other — so don’t pick that nose!). Wello’s sessions are booked in 25, 40, or 55-minute increments. Price depends on time and trainer, but it can range from $8 to $65 per session. Clients can do a variety of workouts, like straightforward personal training, yoga, Pilates, CrossFit, and many more, no equipment necessary. Group sessions are in the works, letting offices get in shape, allow users to work out with a sibling across the country or a best friend in the next state over.
For people afraid of letting an untested stranger into their homes, all the Wello Trainers are certified fitness experts. The trainers live across the United States, meaning users can book a session at a variety of times in any U.S. time zone. It’s also good to know that the trainers have all taken classes in the art of live-video workouts, so they know how to get users to push it, even across the internet.
Wello’s sign-up process is pretty simple: Submit an email address to get an invitation. Once approved, users can create an account and start searching for the right personal trainer using a variety of filter options. There is also a “Fitness profile” and a “goals and metrics” section to help keep track of workouts.
Video Warrior — Testing it Out
Wello set me up for a personal training session with a trainer, and it rocked (a little too hard, actually). After completing a simple health assessment on their site, I was presented with a fantastic search tool that let me find the right trainer for me. Before our meeting I was able to test my computer’s camera and volume with a tutorial and, voila, I had a very cool 55-minute personal training session at my house. The biggest problem was that the trainer literally kicked my butt so hard in the first 30 minutes that I couldn’t finish the workout. The video format can also make it hard for trainers to correct form and technique in minutiae, which can lead to injuries (my back was sore days after the session). Trainers will eventually learn the limits of their users, though let this be proof that it’s possible to get one of the hardest workouts of your life over the computer!
Wello is a legitimate option for those who want to work out with a personal trainer but also want to stay clear of judging eyes at the gym. It’s also good for those looking to keep fit while on the road or on vacation (and have the money to spend). Next time vacation rolls around, pack that laptop, get some free Wi-Fi from the hotel and arrange a personal work out from Wello. It’ll kick butt, in a good way.
What do you think about personal training over a webcam? Is a digital gym an amazing idea or just awkward? Let us know in the comments below!
Update: Hey greatists! As per the comment below, you can use the invitation code “bewello” to try Wello’s system. If you give it a shot, let us know what you think.