Health

Would a “Fitness Concierge” Make You Work Out More?

If you just can’t make it to your early morning barre class—and have money to burn—this new professional buddy system is for you

(Photo: iStock)

(Photo: iStock)

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have a devoted friend come to your door at six a.m., latte in hand and Town Car idling, to pick you up for an early morning spin class? And once you arrived, she signed in for you, prepped your bike and high-fived you throughout the class?

That solipsistic fantasy world can be yours, starting at $350/month, thanks to Vanessa Martin, the founder of SIN Workouts, a fitness concierge business based in Manhattan (with locations opening soon in Miami and Chicago).

I talked to Martin, a certified personal trainer, about what exactly she does, her favourite exercise trends and her best advice for working out on a budget.

So what the heck is a fitness concierge? For our basic service, someone signs up as a member ($350/month) and we pair you with your own concierge and we take care of your fitness program design for you. So, we check in with you on a weekly basis. If you have meetings or dinners or parties we’ll schedule around your schedule, essentially. We take care of booking all of your boutique fitness classes and sending you your weekly fitness itinerary.

Then, we make sure that you’re making it to your workouts. We’ll follow up with instructors, or your personal trainer if it’s a one-on-one session. That is essentially the essence of our basic membership. We take care of your schedule, your program design and make sure that you’re adhering to it. At the end of each month, we have consultations where we do measurements and just check-in to see how you feel on your program and then we talk about the adjustments that you’ll make in the following month to make sure that you’re growing and engaged in your program.

What’s your elite service? A client can schedule a workout with one of our team members, who accompanies them.

You mean in addition to booking a client’s classes, a concierge will actually attend the class too? Exactly. There have been a great number of clients that are literally like, OK, I need to make it to a six a.m. workout but I know my alarm clock is not enough. And so we take it to the next step whether that’s calling them in the morning—that’s totally fine, just as if you were to receive a wakeup call if you were staying in a hotel. But there’s also those clients that are like, No, I need you outside the front door with the car waiting and coffee in hand and then I will remain adherent to it. Our training staff will also go with you and actually cue you through the exercises. So you’re actually getting almost like a personal training session in a group setting.

How do you select the best classes for your clients? It’s something we pay really close attention to because training is a personal thing. We custom tailor it down to even musical preferences. We really just work to pair our clients with the best instructor for them.

Depending on what they hate, too? Do you ever ask clients what they hate about working out? That’s one of the first questions, actually. I go down my list and say, ‘What is one thing if you saw pop up on your itinerary you would absolutely be rolling your eyes? I’m a huge fan of yoga, I totally believe in the practice, it’s been around forever and it’s great for your body, but there are some people who just really don’t like it. So, we find different ways to get their stretch in.

You’ve been called a gym nanny. What do you think about that? Yeah, what’s that all about? [Laughs.] I didn’t understand. When New York mag wrote that up, I was like, A  gym nanny? What is that? You guys are missing the point. When [a client] has one of our team members meet them at a workout it’s just us assisting them, and just as anybody else in a professional position will ask their assistant to get them lunch, we’ll go get them breakfast. I don’t think a personal assistant is considered a nanny.

What’s your favourite fitness trend? I would have to say the indoor cycling trend, which has been going on for a few years now but that’s one workout that for me I can do every day and never get sick of. I’m a big big fan of it and it’s a great form of cardio. It’s 45 minutes, you’re in, you’re out, and there’s great music.

But treadmill/HIIT training workouts are probably my current favourite because they produce such amazing results.

In NYC, they just recently opened up a treadmill-only workout gym. It’s called Mile High Run Club. It blows my mind a little bit because this is an activity that you can do outside for free. But it really does go to show that if you build it they will come.

What’s your best advice to women who can’t afford your services but dream of that kind of support? Find strength in numbers. There are online workouts that are free or app-based workouts that you can download for like $6 and get a group of people together and start your own little fitness community.