The UK is in the grip of an obesity epidemic which shows no signs of abating.
There are thousands of exercise apps to help people fight the flab, so why are we unable to commit to programmes?
There has been a rise in the use of personal trainers – we at BusinessCloud, for example, are put through our paces at a weekly ‘Bootcamp’ – but such a motivational luxury would be beyond our household budgets.
WeGym, which is in development, gives people an opportunity to share those costs and meet socially to train.
“We live in an information age, but how do we get Joe Bloggs out of the house to exercise?” co-founder Joshua Uwadiae asked BusinessCloud.
“That is the issue we are trying to solve – and play a small role in helping solve the obesity crisis at the same time.”
Uwadiae came through the Ignite accelerator programme and received £17,000 of investment to develop the platform.
It began with the idea of people buddying up to train together at gyms – but has evolved into connecting users with a training squad of 2-5 people who share the same mindset, goals and abilities.
As a result it is creating a dynamic pricing model which allows users to pay £10 an hour in a group of five or £25 in a group of two – with the price split evenly.
This creates an accessibility to a service which most people cannot afford yet desperately need. And no ‘squad’ is the same.
“We are crowdsourcing personal training,” continued Uwadiae. “We’re creating a movement to make it easy for people to buddy up together and with a trainer.
“Beginners looking to lose fat only ever train with those who share the same goals and abilities.”
Uwadiae revealed that in the coming months he would be raising more capital to develop WeGym, which has started out with a user base of 1,000 people in Shoreditch, East London.
There is already interest from Manchester and Birmingham, something Uwadiae termed the “early signs of a network effect”.
Uwadiae has lived through a rollercoaster. Expelled from school and running around with gangs at age 15, he learned IT skills through a Microsoft’s IT systems and networking apprenticeship programme and was named apprentice runner-up of the year.
He was hired as an IT support analyst in 2013 then promoted to IT manager in 2015.
A keen fitness fanatic, he left to follow his dream with WeGym.co.uk while also promoting opportunities for youngsters in tech and giving motivational speeches.
He was awarded the National Apprenticeship Services’ apprenticeship champion of the year in 2015.
As part of the Ignite programme in Manchester, he visited the offices of popular running app Runkeeper in Boston, USA.