Maybe you’ve just moved to a new city, and don’t have a pal to play tennis or rock climb with. Or perhaps you’ve finally gotten back into fitness, and desperately need someone to hold you accountable to your new exercise regime.
Whatever your case may be, know that there’s a new app designed to match you with the perfect workout partner. WellSquad, which launched last week, pairs you with users whose fitness goals, favorite activities, motivation levels and geographical locations are compatible with your own.
In other words, it works kind of like an online dating service.
“It’s obviously not a fitness dating site,” cofounder and president James Everett told the Observer, “but we’ve created an algorithm that’s very similar to a Match.com or a Tinder type of thing.”
As a fitness professional with a background in owning and managing gyms, Mr. Everett has seen exercisers become “a little bit lost, when they don’t have that person to push them, to guide them.” Even for himself, he said it’s always been important to find “the person that can push me in the right way, that matches my personality.”
Fitness is also becoming so social, he said. “There’s a great demand for this kind of connecting; we hope to build a supporting, engaging community.”
Finding workout buddies on WellSquad is free—”It’s our mission to break down access barriers,” cofounder and CEO Jessica Ohlssen said—but there’s another side to WellSquad that helps the business earn money.
That side is WellSquad’s Squad Leaders: personal trainers, fitness instructors, and even dietitians who deliver classes and personal guidance through the app, for $100 per month or less. There are leaders available for whatever type of workout you and your new workout buddies prefer, be it muy thai, barre, yoga for new moms, or even firefighters training to take the FDNY entrance exams. Trainers provide new regimens each week, complete with instructional photos and videos.
Users are guaranteed an initial phone assessment with their trainers, plus unlimited in-app messaging.
“We do so many important things on our phones—we manage money, we date,” Ms. Ohlssen said. “What’s to say someone can’t also get lessons from a trainer?”
Mr. Everett and Ms. Ohlseen see the affordable virtual coaching as the place where their business really has a chance to grow.
“In the long term, we envision this being an all-encompassing health and wellness site,” Mr. Everett said. “That is very rare and unique—it’s not really out there right now.”