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It's the season of new year's resolutions to get in shape. But many people who set fitness goals quickly abandon them, which can be bad for their waistlines — and bad for the bottom lines of gyms.
BodyScapes Fitness founder Rob Shapiro says January is the best month for new memberships at his company's 10 locations in Greater Boston. By summer, however, cancellations often outnumber signups.
Shapiro says that for people starting new exercise routines, the key to lasting success is often accountability. That can mean working out in a group — like at his CrossFit gym in Coolidge Corner — or hiring a personal trainer.
Recognizing that trainers can be prohibitively expensive, Shapiro this week is launching an app called SplitFit. Participating trainers agree to let small groups of app users split the cost of sessions that would typically be one on one.
"Think about it like Uber Pool for personal training," Shapiro said. "People want to work out together, and they want to work out with trainers, but it's sort of unaffordable. This is $25 to work out with a trainer for an hour."
That hourlong session with two or three companions might normally cost $85 for a solo exerciser.
"It's a win for the gym owner because they have trainers who have a lot of unused time," Shapiro said.
Trainers from about 30 Boston area gyms are available through SplitFit, so far. In a pilot program, app users booked roughly 10,000 sessions, according to Shapiro. He said he has funded the startup with money raised from family and friends but may seek venture capital to help expand to other cities.
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