A new platform, Welcome Fit, is opening up the world for Personal Trainers, by offering a platform which is purpose-built for online fitness. I sat down with Welcome Fit’s founder, Simon Glendenning, to learn why he’s created something for trainers, and not taken the typical route of creating ‘on-demand’ videos for people to stream.

PTA: What does Welcome Fit do?

Simon: At Welcome Fit, our purpose is to get people moving, and buck the growing trend of inactivity. We want to do that by helping the people who can best get people moving – certified trainers.

That’s why we try to make it easy for trainers to build online fitness businesses, by bundling exercise content, live video streaming (including live group workouts), client enrolments, payments and scheduling. Previously this required multiple platforms, a solid understanding of building websites and streaming which is substandard for training clients.

PTA: How is your live streaming different to Facebook live, Zoom or Instagram live?

Simon: Good question. Streaming apps are built for a face-to-face chat. We make it possible for trainers to change their client’s view. For example, when demonstrating an exercise, a trainer can play an exercise clip, rather than have to do it themselves in perfectly lit space. When providing instruction, the trainer can use ‘mirror view’ so the client can see themselves move, and listen to the trainer’s feedback – just like working out in front of the mirror at the gym. There’s also coach view, and face to face view.

PTA: Why live streaming instead of pre-recorded, on-demand content?

Simon: We looked closely at how effective streaming services and traditional fitness aps were, and the evidence says: not very, as the average user has reverted back to old habits (or worsened) in just 2 weeks.

With live streaming, viewers engage for 8 times longer than on-demand. In addition, we understand that a fitness app, when tightly coupled with professional support and accountability, becomes really effective at changing people’s behavior.

We then saw the challenges faced by fitness professionals in growing and sustaining a business, and saw Welcome Fit as a way to help make a difference.

PTA: Where do you see Welcome Fit helping Personal Trainers the most?

Simon: There’s a belief that a remote client has to have moved away or is travelling. We’ve seen that the most successful trainers understand that a remote client can be just 10 minutes away, but due to whatever reason, they can’t make the trip, because 10 minutes to a 30 minute workout becomes an hour when you factor in travel and 5 mins chatting before and after.

We’ve been able to make it really easy for someone, at very late notice, to switch to an online session, or join a live group workout instead.

For the trainer that’s a retained client, which is super important.

Another benefit is scale. We help trainers acquire clients from outside of their immediate postcodes. For example, we have trainers who create group workouts. They then use our landing page generator to create a page for the workout, which they then promote on social media and to clients who can share it.

Those trainers are acquiring clients from all over the world, and they’re also leveraging the power of their client base’s social network to spread the word. It’s great to see. Just last week we had a guy from Israel join a workout 10 minutes before the start.

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