Whether you’re a rookie or a vet, having a personal trainer lead you through workouts can improve your overall fitness journey. While paying for personal training sessions on top of a gym membership can be a bit pricey, online programs like the Future app are an excellent alternative for those who want the benefits of a personal trainer in their home gym.
For those unaware, Future is an online personal training platform where a certified coach will create a weekly workout plan for you to follow while checking in daily for added motivation. Over time, they’ll refine your workouts based on your progress to continuously push you to reach your goals. While you’ll have to pay a $150 monthly fee, the personalization of Future makes it one of our favorite online workout programs, and it could provide the extra motivation and accountability you’ve been searching for.
Future offers online personal training in every facet of fitness. Every client gets a certified fitness professional who will prescribe training programs, follow up daily to assess progress, make program adjustments as needed, and offer accountability.
About Our Tester
Jake Herod is BarBend’s main product tester. He’s conducted hundreds of reviews on the best fitness equipment in written and video formats. He put together this review using a combination of his personal experiences and those of our other product testers.
- Future offers one-on-one personalized training based on your current fitness level and your goals.
- Each week, your trainer creates a customized workout plan and checks in daily.
- You can record your workouts and send them to your trainer for feedback on your form.
Future App Highlights
- Price: $150 monthly fee
- Equipment needed: None
- Workout format: Guided videos
- Communication: In-app messaging and video calls
- App Compatibility: Smartphones, smart watches, and screen mirroring
While you have to pay a monthly fee of $150 for Future, this is a solid value, considering the potential fitness gains you’ll experience. Once you complete a quick quiz about your fitness level, goals, injury history, and your preferred coaching style, you get connected with your coach via video call. The beauty of this process is that your workouts are tailored to your wants and needs. So, if you don’t have any strength gear like dumbbells, barbells, or kettlebells, your trainer can program bodyweight workouts. But if you have free weights or a power rack, they can offer more options.
Not everyone learns the same way, but most people would probably agree that learning a new movement via video trumps written text. This is another area where Future shines, as each exercise has a video demonstration, allowing you to best mimic what you see on your screen. Speaking of screens, if you don’t want to stare at your phone screen, you can easily screen mirror onto your TV for a bigger picture.
We also think you’ll enjoy the daily communication with your coach. They’ll check in on you if you miss a workout while also encouraging you to keep at it. If you don’t want to only send messages within the app, you can also hop on a virtual call for a more personalized experience or record and share your workouts with your coach so they can critique your form. You also manually enter the workout session stats so your coach can adjust your future workouts based on your progress.
- Your trainer tailors your weekly workouts to your needs, rather than a one-size-fits-all program.
- Whether you have a fully-kitted home gym or only use your body weight, you won’t need to worry about making additional purchases to achieve a proper workout.
- The in-app messaging and video calls provide a personalized experience that not every online training program offers.
- The $150 monthly fee may be too steep for some folks.
- You must log your workouts manually, which may be tedious for some athletes.
Training With the Future App
From the one-on-one experience to the guided videos for your personalized workouts, there is much to like about Future. The app is easy to navigate, and the option to stream on other devices makes following along much easier.
The best thing about Future is the personalization. While most online fitness programs are a one-size-fits-all experience, Future excels in offering a training experience that is specific to each individual person. From the frequency of your workouts to specific goals like improving your mile time or increasing your bench press, you’re in total control.
Simply start up the app, hit “start workout,” and you’ll hear a voice recording from your coach detailing the goals of your workouts. In addition to the audio that provides cues on the movements and what equipment you need, you’ll have a visual representation of how to perform each exercise. While your coach isn’t able to watch your actual workout, you can record your form for feedback.
After completing your workout, you log your stats and answer a short questionnaire about how the workout went. With this information, your trainer can adjust the difficulty for the next session, ensuring you’re making progress.
While testing, we enjoyed the daily back-and-forth communication with our weightlifting coach. Our tester recorded his lifts and sent them to his coach, who would reply with form techniques, cues, and suggestions. According to our tester, the response time was fast, and every workout adjustment was clearly designed to improve weaknesses and log progression. By the end of the test period, our tester had improved his squat snatch from 190 to 220 pounds and bumped up his clean and jerk from 275 to 330 pounds.
While many other online fitness programs don’t allow you to speak to trainers, Future excels in this regard. Your coach contacts you daily to see how your workout went or ask why you missed a session. We all struggle with motivation and consistency at times, so this extra communication can be a big help.
This also helps when you have a bad workout or aren’t progressing as fast as you’d like. Through texting and video calls, our tester’s coach responded with recommendations and programming tweaks to help break through plateaus and sticking points.
You can choose to just use Future on your smartphone, but you can also sync the app to your smartwatch or stream everything at home on your TV. This is perfect for those who don’t like having their phone on hand while training or those who want a larger screen for a more immersive streaming experience.
By syncing the app to your watch, your trainer can access stats like heart rate, calories burned, and workout duration. We used an Apple Watch for our testing, which chimed and vibrated to know when rest periods ended. The watch also displayed the weights, reps, and movements in the program.
What to Consider Before Joining Future
Similar to purchasing a new treadmill or rowing machine, you must consider some important factors before signing up for Future. For one, you always want to stay within your budget, but you may also want to pay close attention to the variety of workouts, the necessary equipment, and your overall fitness level.
Even though Future is one of the most personalized online coaching programs on the market, you may not be thrilled about the $150 price tag. It’s more affordable than hiring an in-person personal trainer (which can be $150 an hour), but if you simply can’t afford that within your budget, you’ll want to check out some cheaper alternatives. That said, you get what you pay for, and our team has been impressed by their overall experience.
Workout Variety and Necessary Equipment
Nobody wants to be complacent with their workouts, and luckily, you don’t have to worry about that with Future. Another thing is that Future is compatible with or without fitness equipment. From simple exercises like bodyweight burpees to complex Olympic weightlifting exercises like the Clean & Jerk, Future has you covered. The beauty of it is that you have total control over what workouts are at your disposal.
While most online fitness apps provide tiers of classes ranked from beginner to advanced, Future tailors the workouts to your specific needs and fitness level. So, if you deal with any injuries and have trouble completing certain movements, you won’t be forced to power through it — which, by the way, you never should. You also won’t find yourself in over your head or overworked, as the post-workout questionnaire helps shape your upcoming workouts.
Future Vs. The Competition
We love comparing products against each other, so why not do that with Future and other online fitness apps? Below is a chart pinning some of our favorite platforms against each other.
|Price||$150 a month||$8 a month$50 a year||$15 a month$180 a year||$20 a month|
|Equipment Required||None||None||Depends on class||Free weights, plyo boxes, pull-up bar, etc.|
|Workout Format||Video demonstration||Video demonstration||Studio class||Written programming|
|Communication||Video calls and in-app messaging||N/A||N/A||Pre-written workout tips|
Even though all of these platforms are similar, they’re also pretty different in their offerings. Living.Fit is the best for those balling on a budget due to its affordable price tag, but those looking to focus on barbell-oriented workouts will be bummed at the lack of programming in this regard.
iFit is one of the most popular online platforms, and while they have a solid number of strength-building classes, it really excels in the cardio corner of fitness. NCFIT is ideal for the CrossFit enthusiast, but you won’t be getting personalized programming or coaching. While Future is hands down the most expensive option on this chart, it’s also the most accommodating and personalized.
All of your workouts are tailored to your specific needs, you aren’t required to purchase any equipment, you have a catalog of video demonstrations for your workouts, and you can always chat with your personal trainer. We don’t think you can go wrong with any of these programs, just be sure to base your decision on your specific wants and needs.
Places to Buy
Head over to the Future website to sign up for your membership.
Future aims to inspire and engage in lifelong health by bringing human connection through digital personal training. In addition to speaking to your trainer within the app, you can email their support team at email@example.com. They offer a risk-free first month, so if you aren’t happy with your experience, you can cancel your membership and they’ll refund your money.
Future is one of the most immersive online fitness apps on the market, and it cracked our best list due to its personalization. Once you complete a short questionnaire and choose your personal trainer, you’ll receive guided weekly workouts based on your fitness level, history, and goals, and your trainer will contact you daily to provide extra motivation and accountability.
Whether you have a fully stocked home gym or you’re just rocking with your body weight, you’ll have access to all the coaching you need to meet your goals. The $150 monthly membership fee may be too steep for some, but if you have the budget for it, we think the potential results will make it worth the money.
How much does a Future membership cost?
You pay a $150 monthly membership fee for Future. While this is more expensive than most other online programs, we think the extensive catalog and personalized feel make it worth the money.
What equipment do I need to work out with Future?
The beauty of Future is that whether you have a bunch of free weights or only use body weight, your coach will tailor your workouts to what you have or don’t have at your disposal.
How do I communicate with my personal trainer in Future?
Communication is made easy within the Future app. You can hop on a video call or use in-app messaging. You can also share videos of your workout to get form critiques and suggestions from your coach.