- In an extremely saturated fitness tech market, it actually brings something new and different to the table.
- It was extraordinarily easy to use.
- It kicked my butt.
Meet LIFT Session: an iPad app that allows real, live personal trainers to put you through a workout in real time wherever you are. It’s not a streaming pre-recorded video. It’s not an app that feeds you exercises. It’s a personal trainer watching your form, encouraging you to push harder, telling you to 20 more burpees for time. All from the comfort of your home, office, hotel room, or gym.
I don’t have a personal trainer that I regularly work with. The cool thing about LIFT is that, while it’s perfect for existing trainers and clients to use when they can’t meet at the gym, the company also networks with a team of top notch personal trainers that they can pair you up with. Just email them and they’ll set up with the right person for your fitness goals.
For my session, I was matched with David Sciacca, who emailed me to schedule the workout. We discussed my fitness goals and he provided a few thoughts on what he thought might fit best with my half marathon and triathlon training. He recommended an hour-long workout focusing on interval training targeting my posterior chain (think: all the muscles that need extra TLC when doing lots of swimming, biking, and running). Sounded perfect.
I downloaded the LIFT Session app on my iPad, set up my profile, and logged on at the designated time to begin my session. David was right on time, and popped up on the screen to introduce himself and kick things off.
The video was clear. The audio was crystal clear. And just like that, we were starting our warm up!
While trainers can of course put together any program of exercises, the LIFT Session app has an extensive library of short demo videos of various exercises that the trainer can pull up at any time during the workout.
For example, David would say that the first exercise of the circuit includes a crab reach. And just like magic, this crisp demo video fills my screen to show me the proper form. All the while, David continues to talk over the video to walk me through each portion of the move. “Watch how he extends his hand all the way out and really pops his hip up. There, just like that, did you notice that reach?”
How cool is that? Totally seamless.
A small window shows a live view of your trainer. The column on the left shows you upcoming movements in the series. And there are a few boxes on the right that display circuit time, calories burned, etc. LIFT Session is working on a version that integrates heart-rate monitoring, so I bet those calorie counts will get a lot more effective when that feature goes live.
Back to the workout. David put me through a series of circuits focusing on back, core, and leg strength.
But here’ the kicker. Unlike the typical online workout video, I didn’t have the luxury of hitting pause or slacking off because the trainer is right there watching my every move. The result? I worked hard. I got encouragement and form corrections when I needed them (the live feedback is everything, folks). And I had one helluva good time.
The best part? Now that I’ve downloaded the free app, I can schedule my next session with David or any other trainer anytime, anywhere there’s a wifi connection. Vacation. Work trips. You name it. He also told me that they just hired trainer who is a running specialist, so I’m planning to do a session with him to learn a few more strengthening exercises and drills.
Post workout, the app has a session overview screen to show you calories burned, how many exercises you did, etc. My favorite part is that the circuits and moves are stored in your profile, complete with notes from your trainer about what looked good + what you need to work on for next time. Need to see that video of the hip bridge again? It’s one click away.
I was so impressed by this app and think it has some fantastic applications for both personal trainers and for users. It’s convenient, easy to use, and the trainers they have on staff seem to really know their stuff. I can’t recommend David enough, and I trust the rest of the trainers they have in their network are just as good. Their hourly rate will range anywhere from $45 – 85 per session.
LIFT Session launched only a few months ago and the team is working to constantly make improvements and updates. A few things in the works include session recording and instant replay, drawing on the screen to help better assess form, and a web-based version so you can use LIFT Session on any computer with a webcam.
Thanks to the team at LIFT Session for inviting me to workout with David. The first training session with LIFT is always free for and I was not otherwise compensated. This review is from my honest-to-goodness personal experience. I’ll keep you posted about my next session!
Screen grab images courtesy of LIFT Session.