Lifestyle

Fyt lets you work out with personal trainers over Zoom—is it worth it?

Bring a trainer to your home—virtually.

Credit: Getty Images / filadendron

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For a lot of people, the past few months have served as an experiment on what elements of the outside world can be successfully replicated indoors. Lots of us work from home, have happy hours over video chat, and join birthday parties from the bedroom.

Another homebound boom? Exercise. At-home fitness options have been a possibility for a while, through apps and devices and lots and lots of YouTube videos.

People who crave the personalized touch of an in-person group fitness class or personal training session have options, too. Many fitness studios offer virtual live classes, and some services allow you to connect with a personal trainer over video chat, even if you don’t already have a relationship with them. I got a chance to try an at-home personal training session through the service Fyt—here’s how it went.

What is FYT?

fythomepage
Credit: Fyt

Starting to use Fyt is easy.

Fyt—a clever name spoken aloud as “fit” but that also stands for “Find your trainer”—was founded as a matchmaking service to help trainers find clients and people find trainers in their local area to set up sessions in their home, an apartment building’s fitness center, or a public park.

But the company smartly pivoted in reaction to coronavirus lockdowns. Now, Fyt is offering virtual training sessions, in which a trainer coaches you in your home from their home via video chat. Based on where you live, you may be able to get an in-person session now, but I tested out the virtual service, which is available anywhere you have an internet connection.

How do you use Fyt?

fytquiz
Credit: Fyt

Fyt's system allows you to customize it to your preferences.

To register for Fyt, you take a quiz that matches you with a trainer. The quiz asks you for your fitness goals, fitness level, when you want to train, and the kind of coaching style you prefer (a “drill sergeant,” “nurturing coach,” or an “educator or teacher”). Then, it displays a list of trainers along with their hourly rates. The trainers who popped up for me started at $29 per session if you buy a value package of 24 classes with a newer or lower-tiered trainer, and reached up to $166 per session if a trainer is more established on the site. All of Fyt’s trainers go through background checks and are certified professionals. Once you select your trainer, you have a complimentary phone consultation to talk about your goals and fitness level in a more in-depth manner.

I was connected with Jayne Gomez, a personal trainer based in Los Angeles, through Fyt’s public relations team. But I also went through the motions of selecting a trainer for myself and found the quiz interface straightforward and easy to understand.

What is personal training like over video?

fyt
Credit: Reviewed / Sara Hendricks

Here's my trainer and me post-workout—clearly, it was an effective one.

I had my session with Jayne through a Zoom call, but Fyt leaves which video chat service up to you and your trainer. Jayne and I talked briefly about my goals and fitness level (though she had done research and read some of my fitness articles, so she knew what kinds of workouts I like doing and about how often I exercise), and got right into the workout.

The hour-long session was pretty straightforward, with a quick warmup and cool down and a few sets of bodyweight strength and cardio exercises in between, such as jumping squats, high knees, tricep dips, push-ups, and the like. But what made it feel special was that there was someone there—who knew what she was talking about—telling me when I needed to tighten my core, lower my butt, speed up, or improve my form in any other way.

Of course, everything that is annoying about replacing a real-life event with a video call is annoying with video-call-based personal training, too. I often had to adjust my laptop screen and crane my neck to make sure Jayne could see me and I could see her, and I sometimes wanted to slam my laptop shut when I caught a glimpse of myself jumping and sweating on the screen. (Everything looks worse on Zoom than it does in real life, right?) In a real-life personal training session, a trainer might use hands-on adjustments to ensure proper form, but on the call, Jayne needed to tell me what I needed to fix, and I had to listen very closely. Still, these were small issues that were easy to get used to.

Once I got past the minor blips and inconveniences of doing the session through the laptop, I found myself working a lot harder than usual—and no doubt with better form—in this workout than I would on my own, simply because I knew Jayne was watching me. I like to think that I’m a self-motivated person when it comes to fitness, meaning I’m good at getting myself to work out most days each week. But I can also zone out while I exercise, which means that, although I’m still moving and getting its benefits, I’m not reaching the peak of what I could be doing as a workout. I know that, say, Yoga with Adriene won’t call me out if I zonk out during one of her classes, but with Jayne on the other end of my laptop, I could not drift away—and I definitely benefited from it.

I only had one session with Jayne, but it helped with my next solo workout a few days later. (I was pretty sore from the hour-long class and needed to take it easy for a few days after.) I remembered how she had told me to attain proper form in my planks and high knees, and tried to stay more mindful and push myself a little harder than I might have on my own before.

Should you try Fyt?

Do you need to use Fyt to get fit at home? Of course not. You can easily access a trove of cheaper (or free) fitness resources in a few clicks, all of which make it easy to break a sweat and maintain a fitness regimen at home.

But there is a reason why people use trainers in the first place: It’s a lot harder to cheat yourself on a plank, push-up, or squat when there is someone watching you work and who knows the exact way to do the exercise. For this reason, I think Fyt can be valuable to anyone who wants to work on their fitness and doesn’t mind paying the price required for one-on-one attention.

The service is especially useful for people who are new to exercising to ensure a good foundation for a safe, healthy fitness routine. I also think it can be great for people who don’t like working out and have trouble finding the motivation to start or finish their sessions on their own. After all, working with another person is an excellent motivator, and you’re less likely to give up on a workout led by an actual person the way you can stop a workout video or turn your outdoor run into a walk.

All in all? Personal training makes a difference and, based on my experience, Fyt’s matchmaking service is a great way to (kind of) bring the trainer to your home.

Book a personal training session with Fyt here

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