Future Fitness Review: Is the Future Looking Bright?

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by  William Barton | Last Updated: 

With a name like Future Fitness, you’d expect some pretty big things. Will it help increase your accountability and get you closer to your goals? Or will it drain your wallet?

In this Future Fitness review, we try the app for ourselves, pump iron with our personal trainer, and give you the lowdown on whether this service is worth it.

There's a trainer in my phone?
The Adult Man Image/Icon Image source: Future Fitness

Future Fitness

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Bottom line: Future Fitness makes personal training more accessible and easy. It’s a bit of a let down that they only cater to iOS users, but the benefit of working exclusively with Apple is that the Apple Watch integration adds another layer of accountability.

Ratings:

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The Adult Man Image/IconEase of Use The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon
The Adult Man Image/IconValue for Money The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon
The Adult Man Image/IconCustomer Service The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon

Pros:

  • There’s an excellent selection of trainers to choose from
  • You actually have a conversation with your trainer to work on your program
  • My trainer was super responsive (often answering questions in 2-3 minutes)
  • Future sends you an Apple Watch on loan (with a deposit) to use through the duration of your training

Cons:

  • Only works for iOS systems
  • You need to have your phone playing throughout your workout as there’s no way for your trainer to give you a simplified view of your workout

“Lift it, tiny man.”

I’m not making this story up: the last time I tried a personal trainer, he literally said that to me in the middle of a bench press.

“Lift it, tiny man.”

Also, he was from an eastern European country, so the words cut even deeper. His name was Stephan, he had an interestingly shaped bald head, and the only thing he respected was pumping cold hard iron, Soviet Bloc style. 

Luckily, I was on a trial session, but needless to say, I didn’t sign on for more training from Stephan.

Fast forward five years, and I’m hitting the weights steadily, but I’m curious what a more formal training regimen looks like. And that’s when I find Future Fitness: a personal trainer that coaches you through the phone.

From a first glance, it seems like a good balance: I let my trainer know my goals, they come up with a plan, and they’re not hovering over my face calling me a tiny man as I hold 185 pounds over my face.

So what’s the experience actually like? Read on to see how Future Fitness worked for me.

What Is Future Fitness?

Future Fitness app in action

Future Fitness is a young San Francisco-based start up that pairs you with a personal trainer that you set goals and track progress with through your iPhone and an Apple Watch. 

You have a range of personal trainers to choose from at the start, many of whom (at least from the range I saw) worked as trainers for college sports programs.

Despite the fact that Future is digital-based, it’s not totally hands off. You schedule a Zoom meeting with your trainer and discuss your goals. Only after that’s done do you get a personalized program from your trainer.

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Using the Future App through the Apple Store, you get access to your workouts and your biometric data is tracked through an Apple Watch (they send you one to borrow if you don’t have one already). 

With that data, your trainer can adjust your workouts to ensure you’re pushing yourself hard enough in the gym to hit the goals you set out. 

Future Fitness

Future Fitness is an excellent training tool if you’re interested in personal training, but don’t want the commitment of actually meeting with someone at the gym. If you want a balance between your own autonomy while still having an accountability partner, Future is fantastic.

Sign Up with Future Fitness
If you click this link and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

Things to Consider Before Investing in the Future Fitness App

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Future Fitness runs through Apple products, so if you’re an Android user, you’re out of luck. 

But on the positive side, there’s a level of personalization you get by pairing the app with the Apple Watch that I imagine is pretty insanely difficult to pull off with the dozens of Android compatible smart watches, etc. I’m not an engineer, but I’m sure adding Android capability adds an outrageous amount of complexity to the product. 

There are really two main benefits of Future Fitness that you can’t get with your standard gym membership.

Future Fitness app water bottle and apple watch

First, you’re getting trust in a process. When you have a workout plan from someone who has multiple certifications and experience building exercise routines that work, you don’t have to worry about whether you’re doing enough leg work—you just do what they tell you and you’ll be set. 

Second, you get accountability in two ways. Future Fitness costs a monthly fee, so that boosts your motivation to hit the gym right there. And you have your trainer texting you, asking if you’re planning on doing your chest and shoulders workout or if you’re planning on eating a burger and drinking three beers again. 

If you’re looking for a burst of external motivation, Future Fitness delivers it in heaps. 

Future Fitness Review

How it Works

Future Fitness welcome package

There’s some set up involved in getting up and running with Future Fitness

Once you sign up, you’re prompted to get the app. I’ll talk more specifically about the app a little later, but it’s important to note that at the moment, Future is only working with iOS, so you’ll need an iPhone.

During the orientation stage, you get to select your personal trainer. I was presented with four different options, and I ended up going with Layne because I liked his professional baseball experience. 

Not that I’m looking to play baseball or ever did. But for whatever reason that stuck out to me. It’s the closest I’ll ever come to being a professional ball player. 

Future Fitness app and apple watch

Then, you punch in your shipping info along with a refundable $200 deposit, and Future sends along a Series 3 Apple Watch (at the time of writing) and a branded water bottle. How’d they know I like swag?

The Apple Watch connects with the app and can help your trainer analyse your workouts to see if you’re pushing yourself hard enough in the gym. If that heart rate doesn’t get up in the 80% zone, your trainer will know you need a few extra burpees thrown in that workout.

Future Fitness

Future Fitness is an excellent training tool if you’re interested in personal training, but don’t want the commitment of actually meeting with someone at the gym. If you want a balance between your own autonomy while still having an accountability partner, Future is fantastic.

Sign Up with Future Fitness
If you click this link and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

My Trainer

Future Fitness trainer profile

Before getting started with my personalized workout program, my trainer set up a quick call with me to discuss my goals. 

My trainer was Layne Gainer. Now I want you to say that last sentence five times quickly. 

The conversation actually was a 45 minute session—much longer than I anticipated, but Layne patiently listened to my goals, workout history, and asked a ton of questions about what I liked in the gym and how my current lifestyle is in relation to health. 

First of all, it just felt like a great conversation. But more importantly, when he sent me my first workout, I definitely got the sense that he’d carefully considered what I’d said. 

That doesn’t mean Layne just gave me a list of exercises I like to do to make me happy. He added in a significant amount more cardio woven throughout my usual workouts than I normally do. 

Future Fitness text communication

And that’s because he was listening to my goals. 

They say if you want to change you can’t keep doing the same thing. Oh well. 

I wanted to get some feedback on my deadlift form, and when I snapped a quick video through the app and sent it to Layne, he shot me back a quick tip that helped me drive a little more power through my heels (and probably saved me some low back pain). 

Layne was consistent with encouragement and accountability, which I really appreciated. The accountability goes a little further with me than the encouragement, but there was a good balance of both. 

The Training

model using Future Fitness training app

I explained to Layne that weight lifting is my preferred mode of exercise, so four training sessions per week were based around the basic compound lifts (which I love). 

Also, it’s important to note here: I have time for four to five workouts per week, so Layne didn’t just tell me to get my pump on—if you only have time to make a workout two or three times a week, your trainer will craft a routine for you based on your lifestyle. 

While I normally would do more lifting on the fifth workout, my trainer had me focus more attention on cardio and conditioning—partly for overall health and balance, though mainly because my stated goal is to get from 20% body fat to 15% body fat.

Future Fitness training app 1

For the cardio aspect, we focused mainly on HIIT exercises. I didn’t know this before, but as Layne explained to me: HIIT allows for a greater volume of calories burned, even though low intensity cardio exercises like jogging are the most efficient at burning calories.

Even though HIIT is slightly less efficient, the burn is intense and you get much more calorie-burning bang for your buck. 

I’m still currently in training, so I haven’t hit my target goal, but I can tell you one thing: my clothes all fit better and I feel fantastic. 

So those are really the only measurements that matter. 

Future Fitness

Future Fitness is an excellent training tool if you’re interested in personal training, but don’t want the commitment of actually meeting with someone at the gym. If you want a balance between your own autonomy while still having an accountability partner, Future is fantastic.

Sign Up with Future Fitness
If you click this link and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

What do Other Reviewers Say About Future Fitness? 

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Both professional and crowdsourced reviews are very positive for Future Fitness, with the training app earning an excellent Trustpilot rating

As the main positives, many reviewers say they love the easy-to-use app and that their trainer is extremely responsive. 

One downside I saw come up a few times (and one that I felt myself) was that there’s no simplified workout view, meaning you need to play through the workout or write it down separately for yourself. 

My Thoughts Overall On Future Fitness

What I Like

  • I only tried one trainer, and he’s excellent. But I also had three other choices, all of which seemed equally professional.

  • Your trainer only crafts your routine after you’ve had a 20-30 minute conversation about your goals, overall health, injuries, likes, and dislikes. 

  • My trainer often gave me feedback on exercise for within 3-5 minutes—fast enough to actually incorporate in the day’s workout. 

  • Future will send you an Apple Watch on loan (you do need a deposit), which you can use throughout your training. 

What I Don’t Like

  • Future only works on iOS so you need an iPhone. 

  • I’d like to have my routine written out for me in a simplified view, rather than needing to play the entire workout through my phone (I like to “unplug” during my workouts and get away from tech for a little). 

Who is Future Fitness for?

Future Fitness is an excellent training tool if you’re interested in personal training, but don’t want the commitment of actually meeting with someone at the gym. If you want a balance between your own autonomy while still having an accountability partner, Future is fantastic.

The Verdict

I really enjoyed my first month with Future Fitness

I felt that my initial conversation and the follow ups with my trainer led to a carefully crafted exercise routine that offered a balance of what I like and what I need to hit my goals. 

The app was smooth, and I found the Apple Watch integration really interesting. After an intense workout, my trainer would send along some words of encouragement seeing that I’d hit my heart rate target for the day. 

Future only works with the iOS system, and at the time of writing, there’s no simplified PDF version of your workout so you can run through the list—the workouts are all done through the app and are meant to simulate the experience of actually being with a personal trainer live. 

Future Fitness offers something no other brand, product, or app does—it lends the accountability of a trainer with a little more flexibility. The Apple Watch integration also gives real-time feedback on your progress, so you’re bringing data to the party. 

While they’re a relatively young brand, I suspect the Future is only going to continue to look brighter and brighter.

Future Fitness

Future Fitness is an excellent training tool if you’re interested in personal training, but don’t want the commitment of actually meeting with someone at the gym. If you want a balance between your own autonomy while still having an accountability partner, Future is fantastic.

Sign Up with Future Fitness
If you click this link and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

FAQs

Is the Future app worth it?

It depends—if you’re looking for personal training already, then yes, absolutely. If you can’t afford a gym membership, then you should look elsewhere. However, with exercise, accountability is priceless, and Future offers plenty of that.

What is in a Future welcome kit?

The Future welcome kit comes with an Apple Watch Series 3 and a Future branded water bottle.

How does Future Fitness work?

All training is done by a real trainer through the use of the Future app. After learning your goals, your trainer sets out an exercise regimen and tracks your progress through an Apple Watch. You can work with your trainer to further tailor your workouts for maximum progress.

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