Test Drive: Customized Fitness

Sticking to resolutions is notoriously difficult, particularly if the goal is to get into shape. The key to making change stick is finding a program that works for your body and lifestyle. With that in mind, we tested out three different fitness approaches, ranging from the most personalized to the most flexible.

Fitness App: Free — $9.99

Tech geeks that we are, we started by testing fitness apps on our smartphones. While we struck out with poorly designed yoga programs, we quickly got hooked on the Nike Training Club iPhone app (free), which walks you through 30-minute workouts customized for objectives and ability. For the complete package, you can’t beat FitnessBuilder (free trial, $9.99 for Plus Access), which has over 400 ready-made workouts that can be tailored to your location (home, gym, travel) and goals.

Perfect for: Anyone with a packed schedule and small budget, or those looking to mix up their current routine.

Personal Trainer: $90 - $120 a session

Next stop was a personal training session with Equinox trainer Kelvin Gary. At Equinox, you begin with their Equifit assessment, which tests everything from your flexibility to heart rate. From there, the trainer designs a sequence of exercises that fit your body type and goals. Gary helped us target areas we didn’t realize were lacking (like our weak quads, which were throwing off our balance) so that we got a more effective workout and left feeling more knowledgeable about how to improve our fitness.

Perfect for: Anyone who needs extra motivation or isn’t sure how to reach their goals on their own. The expert attention means real results.

Fitist: $225 - $515 a month

For a different kind of customization, we turned to Fitist. Launched in May, the company picks the best boutique exercise studios in New York and Los Angeles and bundles them into one program. When you join Fitist, you select the plan that meets your goals (ex: Bride, New Mom) and receive a lineup of specialized classes. Co-founder Neda Talebian Funk says, “Our whole philosophy is about mixing it up, doing different exercises that complement each other.” For example, the 18-class Slim package includes a mix of cycling, core/pilates, performance, and yoga. While the packages are pricey ($225-$515 a month) they cover all the class costs, plus access to fitness experts. When we booked a package, Fitist’s fitness concierge suggested classes that would compliment our usual workouts, including Mixed Martial Arts to get us out of our comfort zone and Ballet Bodies to keep us toned on a trip to LA.

Perfect for: Fitness lovers with studio ADD. Anyone who gets bored in a gym and wants to work seriously toward a goal while still having fun.

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