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Wednesday, Mar 10, 2021
Virtual classes, apps, and fancy new equipment that let you exercise at home.
With Send Me A Trainer, the Trainer Comes to You
While working as a personal trainer at Sport&Health in McLean in 2007, Bary El-Yacoubi noticed that a lot of his clients canceled fairly often.
When he asked why, they told him they just didn’t have time or something had come up at work or their kid had gotten sick.
“Then one day, I asked, ‘What if I just came to you and trained you at your home?’ ” he says. “They were like, ‘Absolutely—that would change my life.’ ” He started training a handful of clients at their homes and then, eventually, all of them. “That’s when I knew there was an opportunity.”
More than a decade and a smartphone boom later, Bary, 34, and his brother, Muhssin El-Yacoubi, have launched Send Me a Trainer, an app that brings personal trainers to your home.
Whether your interests are strength training, yoga, or Zumba, you can choose from a variety of training types to fit whatever mood you’re in that day. Unlike at most gyms, with Send Me a Trainer, you can work with as many trainers as you’d like at once.
“We’ve found that for someone’s exercise goals to be met, two things have to happen to make this a long-term solution,” says Muhssin, 36.
“One is convenience. The second is you have to be held accountable for those goals. When you’re getting the convenience of in-home training and the accountability of a trainer who’s going to show up whether you want to work out or not, that’s the recipe for success.”
Once you’ve downloaded the free app, you can peruse some 50 profiles of personal trainers in DC, Maryland, and Virginia. (The brothers plan eventually to roll it out nationwide.) All trainers go through background checks and personal interviews with the brothers or fitness director.
Training sessions average $75 for 60 minutes, and while this might seem steep, it’s actually less than the typical training rate in the Washington area, which is about $100 an hour.
Don’t expect a trainer to show up with a trunkload of medicine balls and kettlebells—clients usually have their own home equipment or gyms.
But sometimes a mat is enough. Remember P90X? The program “literally sold millions of dollars with little to no equipment right in your home,” says Bary.
“It just goes to show what you can get with the creativity of the actual trainer.”