Apps / COVID-19 / Wellness

Virtual workout app Send Me A Trainer’s founders say demand has increased amid social distancing

The Tysons-based startup that curates an app offering on-demand and in-home personal training has seen increased franchise interest from people who want to run a fitness businesses from home.

Send Me A trainer founders Muhssin and Bary El-Yacoubi pictured with a new franchise owner. (Courtesy photo)

Gyms and other public gathering spaces have closed across the country as Americans work to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Accordingly, Tysons, Virginia-based Send Me A Trainer says it’s seen a surge in business: Founded in 2007 by brothers Muhssin and Bary El-Yacoubi, the company curates a mobile app offering on-demand and in-home personal training.

“With COVID-19 resulting in widespread social distancing and gym closures, demand for home-based workouts has increased exponentially,” said Bary El-Yacoubi in a statement. “We are even offering live online group fitness classes for companies and residential properties who want to keep their communities active.”

Send Me A Trainer is a franchising company, so anyone interested in owning a fitness business can do so under the company’s brand. In the past three months, the company has launched franchise locations in Winston-Salem, North Carolina; Chapel Hill, North Carolina; and Miami. Muhssin El-Yacoubi said the company currently has more than 50 franchise applications currently under review worldwide.

“The demand for exercising at home is higher than ever and that is our core focus,” said Muhssin El-Yacoubi. “”We are seeing a higher search volume for home-based fitness franchises which has led to an increase in franchise requests and applications.” (The cofounders did not share how many users their platform has.)

The El-Yacoubis report that personal trainers and fitness instructors have also been reaching out to the company to join the platform after experiencing layoffs and gym closures. Those not looking to purchase a franchise can also connect with already-established franchises in the area to work under them.

“Due to the immediate increased layoffs and job uncertainty, many people are rushing to find alternative sources of income. This has led to an influx of people looking to franchising more than ever before,” said Muhssin El-Yacoubi.

Muhssin El-Yacoubi, who’s also the company’s CFO, told that even though the team of more than 10 employees works out of its headquarters in Tysons, the company had been encouraging its employees to work from home for a while, which made the transition to remote work during the COVID-19 spread easier.

“We adopted this approach years ago and have found this model to be more productive with higher retention for our team,” said Muhssin El-Yacoubi.

Send Me A Trainer’s app for users is free for use and is iOS and Android friendly. Users can purchase a workout program and hire a trainer through the company’s platform. Though normally trainers working under Send Me A Trainer can come to do in-person workouts, virtual training is encouraged at this time.

Series: Coronavirus

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