Some time between getting married and getting pregnant with my son, I literally looked at my gym membership card and said, “won’t be needing this anymore.” And you know the sad thing? I was totally right.
Now I just run and do home workouts, but I do miss group exercise classes. A new service is launching today that will allow gym dropouts like me (and everybody else) to find local fitness classes. SweatGuru, winner of Vator Splash SF’s People’s Choice Award, launched Wednesday to provide fitness junkies and amateurs alike with an online directory for finding nearby classes. It also provides small to medium-sized fitness businesses with a channel for marketing and managing their businesses.
The service, which has been in closed beta until now, is launching in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York City. For the consumer, it’s as easy as looking up the type of class you’d like to take in what city. From there, you can filter your results by the type of class, time and price. You can follow classes or instructors, as well as reserve and pay for classes via SweatGuru.
Fitness professionals can list their classes for $19 a month and get a whole backend suite of tools to allow them to manage their businesses, including managing instructor schedules, client reservations and collecting payments online.
The service was born out of a need for co-founders Jamie Walker and Alyse Mason-Brill to manage their growing boot camp business. A similar service, MindBody Online, offers business management software tailored to fitness studios, spas and salons, but it doesn’t offer a consumer-facing product for those looking for classes. Other than that, SweatGuru may actually be the first of its kind (which is a really sweeping statement to make when you’re talking about the whole history of the Internet).
“We're launching in these target markets in order to introduce the product to more users and expand the number of fitness pros on the site,” said CEO Jamie Walker, via email. “We plan to expand rapidly in cities that surround our initial target markets and are looking at Chicago, Austin, and Denver as our next markets. We hope to be international eventually as well.”
While in closed beta, the company doled out a few invites and tested the site with 80 users. The team found that the average first-time user came back to the site to book an average of three times, but Walker expects that number to grow as the public launch rolls out and the service builds on its supply of classes.
“We believe we are uniquely positioned to be the simple, affordable solution for fitness professionals and the ‘Open Table of fitness’ for consumers,” said Walker.