As the coronavirus hampers the fitness industry, leading to a rapid evolution toward digital classes, ClassPass is pressing onward with its product roadmap, albeit a bit ahead of schedule.
The company, which has raised more than $500 million from investors such as General Catalyst, Thrive, GV, Temasek, Apax Digital and L Catterton, is introducing personal training sessions via a partnership with Fyt.
"We've been thinking about adding personal training to the platform for quite a while now, and this seems like an excellent time to do so to really diversify our options to our members and give them a wider set of opportunities to work out and keep their workouts," said Kinsey Livingston, ClassPass VP of Partnerships. "Especially during quarantine, training sessions can be really interesting and motivating and give them that extra accountability that only comes with a personal trainer."
Of course, these personal training sessions will be virtual and follow the same UX flow as ClassPass's recently introduced virtual classes. Users can find a trainer on the ClassPass app, use credits to book it and receive a unique Zoom link for their session.
To start, the personal training program will have 10 trainers, who can manage several hundred sessions per week, and will scale up as needed. The trainers, who are employed as 1099 contractors, are 50/50 gender balanced with 20% Black trainers. Fyt has 7,000 trainers total on its platform, and the technical side of deployment is relatively easy and straightforward should ClassPass want to scale up the program.
Each training session lasts one hour and comes with a free 15-minute video chat consultation to go over goals, etc. These sessions are all billed through ClassPass using credits — each session costs 23 credits. Depending on geography, that can range from $35 to $55.
ClassPass introduced virtual credits several years ago to have a way to regulate various factors of the business model, such as dynamic pricing for in-demand trainers, the pricing differences between different geographies and the actual usage volume of customers.
In the future, ClassPass sees the potential to do in-person training sessions where the trainer would come to the customer's house or meet up in a park. Of course, that would require a much larger number of trainers on the platform across a wide variety of geographies. For now, however, distance isn't a factor with virtual sessions, giving the company more flexibility on meeting demand.
I asked David Hung, Fyt co-founder and CEO, about the logistical challenges of virtual personal training. For example, free Zoom sessions cut out after 40 minutes, while these sessions are billed for an hour.
"We're going to start with 10 paid accounts," said Hung. "We'll scale it up. I don't think we're necessarily going to give each trainer their paid account. We might do a pool of Zoom accounts to use in facilitated sessions. We'll play that by ear, based on how we scale up."
Personal training sessions are available now to ClassPass users on the app.