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New App Vint Makes Working Out Social

Now Your Smartphone Can Exercise More Than Your Thumbs

Finding time to work out is tough, we all know that. Finding people to work out with is even harder; it’s too easy to spend your time flicking through emails while standing near a Cross Trainer if there’s no one to shame you into actually getting on it, but then again going to gym with that friend with the Chris Hemsworth body while you get winded tying your shoes is even worse.

You can always pay for a personal trainer, of course, but shelling out the necessary dough to be shouted at by a guy in a Tapout vest can be almost as painful as that spin class you took that one time.

A group of developers from Stockholm – including Magnus Hult, one of Spotify’s earliest engineers – believe they have found the answer in Vint, a mobile app designed to connect aspiring gym bunnies with each other and with trainers.

The app’s USP, however, is that there is no gym involved. Users browse through various categories in the app, from running to boxing to yoga, and it in turn shows you trainers in your area who hold either group or individual classes. The sessions are held in public spaces like parks so there’s no worry about gym fees, which means that the average price for the classes is around $20 – far cheaper than the usual cost of a professional trainer. Vint also states that it works hard to ensure that class sizes are kept small, to maintain the personal aspect which differentiates this peer-to-peer system from the usual exercise-industrial complex.

While all trainers are vetted before being allowed to advertise, since there’s no gym association they may not necessarily be professional trainers. The team behind the app are touting this as a benefit: trainers are assessed on attitude and enthusiasm as much as technical knowledge, and Vint believes that a positive-minded amateur is a better teacher and motivator than some jaded muscle-head shooting selfies in between bicep curls.

From Lyft to Airbnb to old stalwart Yelp, it’s clear that crowd-sourced know-how and ability is the great unspoken resource of the social networking era; you can make all the fancy apps and clever profiles you like, but it is the age-old values of community and collaborative effort which are the swelling tide beneath the digital media revolution. Web 2.0 was the revelation that people had as much to say on the internet as it had to say to them; perhaps Web 3.0 will be the incendiary notion that people have even more to say, and to give, to each other.

For now Vint is only available as a beta in San Francisco, following limited trials in Stockholm, but with $1.8 million in funding it looks set to spread to a park near you. So if you’re feeling as though those solo jogs around the neighbourhood are getting a little lonely, or you want to learn Tai Chi for less than the cost of a used car, watch this space.

Douglas is an English Literature graduate who has written about everything from music to food to theatre, now a content creator for Social Media Frontiers. No topic too large or too small. Follow him @DouglasAtSMF.

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New App Vint Makes Working Out Social Reviewed by Anonymous on Thursday, August 14, 2014 Rating: 5
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