Three Northeastern students have created an online platform where users can compete in fitness challenges to win prizes, and connect with personal trainers.
Kalon Boston, Leo Belyi, and Blake Hatch launched their website, named Vastus, in November, 2018, with the goal of lowering the cost of personal training and making it easier for people to get workouts built by experts.
The idea behind their website is simple: Users complete fitness challenges on video, and the best video wins a prize, which can include workout apparel, free sessions with personal trainers, and monthly memberships at gyms in Boston. The challenges are posted on the website for 3 weeks, and include workouts such as pull-ups and push-ups until failure, cardio exercises, and weight lifts.
The most recent challenge posted to the website is called the Reck Fit Challenge. The challenge demands 50 squats, 40 lunges, 30 situps, 20 pushups, and 10 burpees. The prize for being the fastest man or woman to complete the challenge is apparel from the Reck Fitness Gym in Beverly, MA.
Boston sees the website as an app for both users trying to get fit, and for marketing purposes of personal trainers and gyms in Boston.
“Vastus is a platform for users to get fit and do real workouts posted by personal trainers, as well as creating a new modality for brands to market themselves,” says Boston, a sophomore majoring in philosophy and physics.
Boston is also building his website as a platform for businesses to run corporate wellness programs. Businesses can partner with Vastus to offer employees a chance to use the platform as a way to promote healthy behavior in the workplace.
Boston and his co-founders were assigned a mentor from IDEA, Northeastern’s student-led venture accelerator, which helps student entrepreneurs grow their ideas and pairs them with a business-savvy mentor.
To bring their idea to fruition, Boston and his team have spent hours in classrooms of the Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Complex making cold calls to local gyms to recruit trainers, an effort Boston says is paying off.
“We want to promote a bunch of different trainers so that users can connect with a trainer whose philosophy aligns with their personal goals,” says Boston.