The Pilates instructor at my gym is pretty intense and she kind of freaks me out. Last time I took her class, she put me on the spot to find out why I was resting. Rather than tell her the truth—that I’m as weak and unmotivated as a potato chip—I found myself making up some story about a car accident that messed up my back and now makes it difficult for me to do planks. Now I have to stick with that story, or start going to a different gym.
A new fitness site makes it possible to not only do your workouts from home, but to do them with one-on-one help from a trainer of your choice (so if you want a hard ass, you can get a hard ass). Wello, which launched Wednesday, allows you to get live personal training via two-way video.
With as many as 150 trainers in the network, a strapped-for-time user need only log on and find a trainer for anything from a quick 25-minute yoga stretch or a 55-minute aerobic ass-kicking. Wello founders Leslie Silverglide and Ann Scott Plante tell me that initially, the service required users to book their sessions 12 hours in advance, but after testing it out (the site has been in beta since March), they found that what users really want is a personal training session on demand.
“A lot of trainers have difficulty filling hours in the middle of the day when people are at work,” said Ann, in an interview. “Wello allows them to fill those hours and take advantage of time differences. Someone getting off work in New York is perfect for a trainer in California.”
Trainers can also earn more on Wello, which takes a 15% cut of what the trainers make, while gyms usually take 50-80%. This translates to reduced prices for users, who can get a group work out or one-on-one session for anywhere from $5 to $65. The average hour-long one-on-one session is $40, but Wello also offers package deals and is gearing up to offer group workouts.
Users will soon be able to sign up for a training session with a celebrity trainer, like Michael George, who has trained celebs like Reese Witherspoon and Julianne Moore. Sessions with celebrity trainers will cost about $150.
Wello users will even be able to get workouts tailored specifically to their needs. The site offers a menu of customization features, whether you’re overweight, pregnant, post-partum, athletic, a senior, or if you suffer from an injury or condition. You can even specify what type of training style you want, whether you’re looking for a drill sergeant or someone who’s fun and friendly.
Online workouts are nothing new. Fitness magazines like Shape have been doing it for a while. Bodyrock.tv allows users to get a bevy of new and different workouts (upper body, core, butt, arms, etc.) every day, for free. Obviously, what Wello does differently is it brings accountability into the mix. In my case, I start out motivated, and by the time I’m done watching a 10-minute Bodyrock.tv video, I feel exhausted. With Wello, you actually have someone making sure you’re not only doing the full exercise, but that you’re doing it right.
Wello is currently in the process of raising a seed round.