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This App Lets You Train With a Personal Coach—Wherever You Are

Most online fitness The majority of the apps I have seen offer group classes and preprogrammed, generalized exercises. There are very few apps that provide training tailored to each individual. And while there are fitness apps that claim to offer personalized training, much of that personalization comes in the form of adjusting the machinery’s resistance levels or the number of reps you’re required to complete during the generic streamed workouts.

The Future app provides one-on-one coaching from an extensive range of coaches. These coaches—actual humans—develop a training plan that is tailored specifically to your goals and needs. They will also keep you in touch with them during streaming classes and make sure you are accountable for keeping up your training.

Each time you launch the app to complete a session, you’re greeted with a personalized recording from your coach where they go over your goals and your recent progress. The coach then leads you through your day’s workout, and the app allows you to pause and start the coach’s prerecorded video so you can progress through the exercises at your own pace by tapping on your iPhone or Apple Watch. Although the app works only on iOS, it is available in other languages. Android Support is available on the road map.

This integration is great with the Apple Watch. You can control your workout and your coach will see all your data, including calories, length, mileage, and other details. The app also vibrates the Watch to indicate when you should rest and when it’s time to move on to the next set. If you don’t have an Apple Watch, Future will even send you a loaner to use for the duration of your membership.

That’s a nice perk, especially since a Future membership costs $149 a month. While it’s a big outlay when compared to other streaming fitness programs, $150 is roughly what you’ll pay for one single personal training session at most gyms. So if you prefer one-on-one coaching from a knowledgeable personal trainer—one who will conform to your schedule and is always in communication with you—and you want to work out more than once a month, the price is quite attractive.

Future does not require you to own your exercise equipment. So if your workouts require weights, you’ll need access to weights. This means that if you want to do anything other than run or do bodyweight workouts, you’ll need either a home gym or gym membership to get it done.

Getting Started

AirPlay allows you to cast future workouts onto a bigger screen.

Future Photograph

As a certified coach, I wasn’t excited to review an app that would pair me with a personal trainer. I keep up a steady running regimen, and I coach CrossFit classes a few days a week, so I didn’t feel the need for one-on-one coaching. When I first signed up for Future, the app showed a vast array of coaches offering a variety of services.

While there were many aerobics and HIIT experts I knew, I found several people who had expertise in more niche areas. My weakness was weight lifting so I was delighted to see an Olympic weight lifting coach. Allan Contreras is a former college weightlifter and has been trained by top weight lifting coaches. He also serves as a Juggernaut Training coach. Allan was the right match for me as I needed to improve my clean, jerks and snatch. (You can switch coaches at any time during your membership if you aren’t vibing with your first choice.)

When I booked Allan Contreras for my coaching, he set up FaceTime meetings with me. My goals and previous experiences were discussed, as well as my weekly schedule. A few days later, my loaner Apple Watch arrived from Future, and Contreras had loaded my first week’s worth of workouts into the app.

You can pump it up

iOS App

Future Photograph

Every workout can be customized to each user. Mine consisted of approximately an hour of strength and skill work, which I had to do two or three times per week depending on how busy my schedule was. Each week’s workouts are saved to the app each Sunday. At the gym, I’d hit “Start workout” and I’d hear a recording through my headphones from Contreras listing that workout’s goals and telling what we’d focus on. As I did each move (shoulder press or hang snatch), the app guided me and showed me how to do it. Contreras could speak out if Contreras has any tips for specific lifts.

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