This Fitness App Sends a Personal Trainer to Work Out with You

You can try it for a discount at the W Hotel Boston.

Photo courtesy of Handstand

When fitness guru Tiffany Hakimianpour founded fitness app Handstand in 2015, she set out to provide personalized workouts for people who didn’t thrive in traditional personal trainer programs. She hoped her app, or what she’s dubbed “the Spotify of health and wellness,” would make it easier for people to figure out what kind of exercise best suits their lifestyle.

Handstand works like this: Users download the app, then take a survey to answer questions about their personality type, lifestyle, and needs. Based on survey answers, Handstand connects users with like-minded personal trainers. Then, you can schedule a customized workout—which could be anything from yoga to kickboxing—with a trainer, who not only brings all the required equipment, but also comes to your home, a local park, or any venue you feel will maximize your training.

Now, two years since its inception, Handstand is available in 10 cities across the country, including Boston, New York, and San Francisco. While Bostonians are free to schedule workouts in the Common or on the Esplanade, they’ll have a special location to choose from starting this month: the W Hotel Boston.

The app is launching a “smartpartnership” with Reebok and the hotel, bringing personal training sessions to W Hotel Boston guests at a discounted price—guests pay $65 per hour instead of the typical $79 fee. And for an additional $5, they can rent out Reebok equipment and take complimentary workout classes from “Travel Body Sculpt” to “Pre Brunch Burn.” The promotion will be available through the end of the year.

“[The classes] are kind of more shaped for travelers—like ‘Total Body Reboot’ where the instructors know when people travel that maybe their digestive systems go off the wall or their shoulders are tired from working,” Hakimianpour says. “It’s specialized and tailored to the person and built by the trainer who, from us, is background-checked, personally interviewed, and verified to be on the platform.” Classes are also open to Bostonians (read: not hotel guests) simply looking for a change of workout scenery.

Hakimianpour says Handstand is striving to scrap the emphasis placed on numbers in the fitness world by shifting the focus towards happiness, healing, and enjoyment. The initial user survey, for example, does not ask questions regarding weight and height.

While the app currently focuses on personal training sessions, come mid-March, it is launching a score of new features, including workout videos, health tip blogs, and a personal matching algorithm—matchmaking à la fitness world. In addition to using the app’s personality survey, the new algorithm will create workout suggestions based on interests—similar to a music app’s playlist generator. 

At the core of Handstand is a strong commitment to personalized health and wellness. Hakimianpour believes “staying committed, but calm” is essential in all aspects of fitness, be it releasing stress through kickboxing or finding peace through yoga.

“Our whole goal is really to redefine the industry,” Hakimianpour says. “Fitness should be something that you like to do and [Handstand] is just a different purpose type of workout where you don’t need to be intimidated, no matter if you’re with a few people or with your one-on-one trainer.”

Photo courtesy of Handstand