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Meet Brian Gardiner of SplitFit in Brookline

Today we’d like to introduce you to Brian Gardiner.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Brian. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
SplitFit is a very exciting new business whereby we are creating a cost effective exchange for personal training that gyms and studios can offer to clients. Customers can find available sessions through an easy to use app and split the costs of a trainer by training with up to two others. Our extensive market research showed folks would utilize personal training (the best approach for achieving any fitness goal) more if it was more affordable. By making it easier to find quality personal training at the best clubs in Boston we are helping customers (clients), gym owners and trainers connect!

We launched a pilot in January 2017 and are now in seven clubs in the extended Brookline area. User feedback has been very positive and many folks who NEVER would have used personal training are now training regularly with their friends and meeting new people.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Like any new product creating early market awareness takes time, money and effort. Our first few weeks we learned that disrupting an industry is going to be, well, very difficult! Once we were able to gather some early adopters we were able to methodically enhance the product in ways that live users validated met their needs.

Another obstacle has been convincing new potential partner gym/studio owners that SplitFit would not cannibalize their existing, vital personal training business. Personal training represents the second largest revenue stream for typical gyms. Once we could share data from our pilot on how SplitFit was drawing folks who would otherwise never use a trainer (cost, etc) and these customers were non-members then the gym/studio owners had powerful proof points to convince them to partner with us.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about SplitFit – what should we know?
SplitFit is an exchange, enabled by a simple (but hard to design!) app. We make it very easy for a gym/studio owner to broadcast any personal training inventory (sessions) they want to non-members of their clubs. In many ways this is similar to what ClassPass did for group exercise classes and excess inventory (space) in classes. Clients can search for a time and location that works for them and book that session with a few ‘taps’.

As a company we are most proud of the relentless focus on customer feedback as the guide for developing the nest product. As disciples of ‘The Lean Startup’, we made sure we tested as many hypothesis with a real product and real users and processed their feedback into product development (and strategy) decisions to either pivot or preserve. And our early adopters have been incredible!

What has set us apart is the strength of our team and partners. Nothing gets done without a great team. And certainly not a lofty ambition of disrupting an entire industry….

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
We believe personal training, more specifically how users can procure personal training, is ripe for technological disruption. There also is a glut of personal trainers that is creating excess capacity against consumers who we know will use personal training if it was more affordable. These are the two major trends we seek to capitalize on.

Trainers want to train and not have to waste time trying to sell to new clients. Gym/studio owners want to keep their trainers busy (efficient) and grow their revenues. And consumers want choices and all want help staying fit and living healthier. Add to this that consumer spending on discretionary fitness related is steadily increasing…..we feel there is enormous potential to expand the personal training market in the US and globally.


  • Train for as low as $29 by pooling with two others….friends or new freinds
  • Train in a private session for as low as $59 (compared to $80-120 at typical locations)

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