Searching for a personal trainer that is qualified and suits your needs and personality is about to become a lot easier thanks to the website trainrfindr.ca, created by 19-year-old Huntsville resident Connor Lockey.
“I have had the idea of the website for a while, but I didn’t have the skills to program it,” Lockey said.
He has just finished his first year in the business program at University of PEI. It was there that he met Logan Anderson, a third-year computer science student. Lockey had been looking for someone who was compatible with him and his idea, and said it took about 10 tries before finding Anderson.
“This has been my dream,” he said of the website which is designed to be a online platform committed to fitness trainers and their potential clients. “All my life I have been into fitness.”
Lockey had been serious about soccer, which took him to various schools around the province. However, when that ended he began to research getting a Personal Fitness Certificate.
“The legitimate ones are costly and rightly so,” he said. “People need a good trainer for safety and to reach their goals.”
During his research he concluded that the fitness industry is extremely unregulated. “There is no governing body,” he said. “That really got to me. Why should anyone take fitness trainers seriously if anyone can take a two-hour course and call themselves a fitness trainer?”
There are many college and university courses that offer courses for fitness training and the Ontario Fitness Council website states its main focus is on the development and stewardship of national standards for fitness leader registration across Canada and acts as an advocate for fitness leadership at the national level.
“I determined through my research how people find trainers is mostly through word of mouth,” Lockey said. However, he said he found one trainer may fit one person’s needs, but not another as there are many reasons why people look for trainers, from a desire to get in shape or train for an event to healing from an injury. And, there are varying price points as well.
“I wanted to create an online platform that will compare trainers and consumers can rate and review the trainers,” he said. As well, he wants to provide online training and videos on the website.
On May 27, Lockey began the beta launch of the website. “I am testing the waters to see how the website works,” he said. “If there are any bugs that need to be fixed, and to get feedback from trainers.”
While the website is being established, Lockey said it is free for any trainers who are interested in signing up. And as for clients, or people looking for trainers, there is no fee.
“Because I want as many trainers on the site to create a variety, therefore it is free for trainers, right now,” he said.
Lockey said he believes the website will be desirable for trainers because it will provide them access to potential clients. “It will be like a Tripadvisor for trainers,” he said.
Trainers are able to make a profile on the website and highlight their strengths.
So far Lockey said the response has been positive. He has been spending a lot of time in PEI and Ontario knocking on gym doors to introduce his website.
One of the trainers who has already signed up is the owner of Fitt Gym in Huntsville, Louis Beare.
Beare has been a personal trainer since 2009 after completing a four-year program in Iowa for Kinesiology and Sport and Exercise Science, graduating with a Bachelor of Science.
“I think it is a great idea,” Beare said. “Because it allows you to put yourself out there without having to spend a lot on advertising.”
Beare recognizes that there are people who are personal trainers who have lots of experience and are well-educated, and people who are very passionate, however, it is important to be a certified trainer to protect the trainer and the client. “Not being certified is a risk to you and your client,” he said.
Fitt Gym employs six personal trainers, all of whom are certified.
Due to COVID-19, Fitt Gym has been closed, but they have been operating virtually. He said the idea of online training is appealing because it will help individuals who are not able to make the time to get into the gym.
“I hope the website will bring more awareness to the skillset that I offer and the experience I have in training,” Beare said. He adds that finding the right personality fit is also important for trainers and clients and the website may be able to help find the right person to work with each individual. And reviews are always welcome, either positive or those providing constructive feedback.
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