New Fitspot App Serves Up Personal Trainers in Short Order

Slide 19 Confirmation ScreenWe’ve all got our vice. And I’m no stranger to the occasional late-night fix.

I get the cash ready. Waiting anxiously. I hear the knock at the door. I slip out into the darkness of my vestibule, pay quickly and retreat back inside with the goods. I’m about to experience a huge rush — a rush of warm, cheesy goodness, that is. You see: My vice is pizza. And Rocco’s, the neighborhood pizza spot in L.A. that I’ve been faithful to for over a decade, is my dealer of choice.

But Jonathan Cohn, founder and CEO of the newly launched Fitspot app, hopes you’ll stow the slice for the moment and order up a personal trainer instead. (Piping hot, not currently an option.)

Fitspot, which launched this month in Los Angeles allows users to book a certified personal fitness trainer in a location near them. The app is currently available on IOS and soon on Android. It gives users in L.A. instant access to Fitspot-vetted trainers who are available to come to you or an approved Fitspot location for a flat rate of $59, charged directly from the app. “Fitspotters,” as they are called, can also split sessions with other Fitspotters: $70 for two people and $90 for three.

Fitspot is the latest concept to push the democratization and accessibility of services by corralling independent contractors to offer users competitive pricing, tech-friendly ordering and ease of use. The company follows similar models such as Uber, Lyft, Washio and more that rely on apps to book services.

Cohn, a former New York investment banker-turned personal trainer is banking, so to speak, on this model to help shake up an industry that is still largely based on membership models — whether that’s a traditional gym, yoga, pilates or martial arts.

Fitspot founder and CEO, Jonathan Cohn

Fitspot founder and CEO, Jonathan Cohn

And it’s a highly lucrative industry at that. Research firm IBIS estimates that fitness centers in the industry generate approximately $27 billion per year. However, the top four companies in this sector account for only 13.9 percent of total revenue, which points to a very fragmented industry ripe for disruption.

“Personalized training is not an area that’s being focused on right now,” said Cohn. “People are getting tired of signing up for memberships at one single location. We allow users to mix it up seamlessly, if they want, and do pilates today, crossfit tomorrow.”

This is to say nothing of the rates that many personal trainers in cities such as Los Angeles and New York charge — Cohn included.

“PersonalIy, I charge above a certain rate, but even I recognize that personal training shouldn’t cost over $130 per hour,” said Cohn, who charges clients $150 an hour. “If you’re a [celebrity trainer such as] Gunnar Peterson or sports trainer, you’ve earned it. But for a regular gym to charge that is crazy.”

Fitspot appAlthough, I have yet to put Fitspot to the test, I find the freedom behind it refreshing. I’m not looking to settle down in another relationship with a fitness fad and commit to a monthly fee, only to kick myself when I realize I’ve only gone, maybe, five times that month.

And I know I’m not alone.

I already suffer from a self-diagnosed case of “fitness fatigue,” and I suspect that there are many other urban dwellers such as myself who are suffering in silence after being subjected to boot camps, pilates sessions, overcrowded yoga studios, zumba classes and the like. But this way, I can feel totally free to date whichever fitness trend I want; I can cheat on calm yoga for a dalliance with stronger, tougher boxing without an ounce of financial guilt.

But Cohn, a trainer himself, sees another vital upside to his new business: cutting down on injury.

“Now matter how good that instructor is, there’s no way he or she can see what 40 people are doing,” said Cohn. “As beneficial as those classes are, what about your form? … We’ve seen a lot of injuries from [classes such as] cross fit.”

Cohn says that he’s gone through extensive lengths to vet the trainers who are admitted to Fitspot.

“These trainers on the platform [are people] that we personally know or have been personally referred to us. All of our trainers are nationally certified, they all have $1 million insurance and third-party background check just to walk in the door, said Cohn. “We meet with every single one of them, and [make sure] they have a basic knowledge of biomechanics and kinesiology, and many are also CPR certified.”

If the model grows quickly, meeting everyone could prove tricky, but Cohn says he’s focused on quality first and growing slowly in his core market, with Orange County next and an eye toward San Diego.

“Southern California, in my opinion, is the capital of fitness,” said Cohn. “And from there, the next logical steps would be New York or Las Vegas, as one of our [areas of focus] is business travelers.]”

But he’s in no hurry. Said Cohn, “I’d rather have 150-200 trainers that I have met and vetted and know they will show up on time and do their job right than 2000 who aren’t.”

So now that I have a new option for personal training, I can work off the clandestine pizza ordering. And Cohn, a fellow pizza aficionado, doesn’t begrudge this Chicago girl her vice. “I have gained a new appreciation for deep-dish pizza,” said the New Yorker. His recommendation: Hollywood Pies, dubbed L.A.’s best Chicago-style pizza.

No app needed for that order!

Fitspot is available for iOS on the App Store. For more information, please visit

Photos courtesy of Fitspot.

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Author:Michelle Dalton Tyree

Fashion Trends Daily is the brainchild of Michelle Dalton Tyree. She is the former West Coast Retail Editor for Women’s Wear Daily, Fashion Editor for The Japan Times, and founder of former L.A. luxury boutique Iconology. Michelle is frequently quoted about fashion retail trends in major media outlets such as NPR, KPCC, The Inside Source and the New York Times. She has developed content for many luxury brands and retailers and has written for Allure, Worth Global Style Network, Footwear News and other media outlets.