Online dating has revolutionized courtship by taking out the guesswork and weeding through a huge pool of prospects for you to find your best matches. Now, thanks to Austin startup Fit Steady, you can get a similar personally tailored service to find you another perfect match in the form of your new personal trainer.
Melanie Weinberger, Fit Steady’s founder and Matchmaker Extraordinaire, answered a few questions for us about starting her own business, why Austin and her favorite success story so far.
Where did you get the idea for Fit Steady?
Melanie: I have always had a love for fitness. So much so, that in the winter of 2011 I decided to get certified as a personal trainer so that I could help more people get in shape and just feel happy about themselves. Once I was in the industry, I saw a great chasm. Most people have a negative perception about personal trainers, things like not being able to afford the service, or not wanting a drill sergeant type experience. So instead of getting personal help, they turn to big box solutions like buying P90X DVDs, or getting a gym membership only to let it go to waste because they lose motivation.
I realized there was a big need to make personal fitness much more accessible to the average person. A way for people to get on the right path for their specific needs, and get an ally to keep them accountable along the way. From there, Fit Steady was born. Our mission is to make it easy for people to get on their personal fitness path, and see it through. We do this using the concept of hyper-local match-making. An individual simply signs up online, tells us their preferences, and we get to work matching them to the best local fitness coach that meets their needs (even training them at home if that’s what they want!). From there they get on a custom plan to reach their goals, with as many in-person workout sessions as they’d like. It’s like getting a gym membership with a personal instruction manual and a dedicated expert—without the wasted fees, and with better results. We are personal fitness, delivered.
Melanie: While Austin has a very large population of folks who are super fit, there is also a large population of folks who are unfit. Because there is such a big spectrum from one end to the other, it can be intimidating for a lot of people to get started getting in shape. I’ve heard people say, “Oh, I have to get in shape before I can start going to the gym, “ and I think that’s something that can be helped with what we offer. Many of our clients opt to have their sessions at home so that they don’t have to deal with the paranoia of working out in front of a lot of people at the gym, and get the privacy they need to succeed. Our other customer tends to be people who are too busy to search through the hundreds of fitness options in the city and just want us to do the work for them. Both camps are very happy that we’re there to make it easy for them to get on a personal path to fitness.
What’s been your favorite success story so far?
Melanie: I think so far I’d have to say my favorite success story has been our client Allen Stern. Allen started with Fit Steady in July of 2012 when we were first testing our business model. He was on a journey to go from morbidly obese to fit and healthy, and was determined to do everything in his power to get there. Allen started working with Fit Steady fitness coach Ashli, and since then he’s lost a tremendous amount of weight, touched his toes for the first time in years, and even ran his first 5k! These are kinds of stories that really move me. So many people can succeed if they just get the personal help they need.
You can find out more about Fit Steady at their website, Facebook, Twitter or their blog, which offers some really helpful fitness tips and quick workout ideas. Melanie generously offered a month of training sessions to Chickster, so I’ll be blogging throughout the month about my experiences and my perfect-match trainer, Mary De Leon of Cornerstone Fitness.