A GoPride Interview

Sam Provenzano

Sam Provenzano's local startup aims to fill LGBTQ fitness needs

Wed. May 1, 2013  by Matt Inawat

If you aren't comfortable and can't truly be yourself with your personal trainer, chances are you will not reach your full potential.
Sam Provenzano
Last month, Chicago entrepreneur Sam Provenzano launched Right Fit For You (RightFitForYou.com), a personal trainer match-up service that helps their clients find the perfect trainer to match their individual goals.

The service currently focuses on the lesbian, gay, bi and transgender community, and when asked about the idea and inspiration, Provenzano says, "I just really felt that there was a need for Right Fit for You. The client/trainer relationship is very intimate."

"Personal trainers not only help their clients get into tip top shape, but many of them become a client's friend and someone they confide in and trust. If you aren't comfortable and can't truly be yourself with your Personal Trainer, chances are you will not reach your full potential."

ChicagoPride.com took a moment to talk with Provenzano about Right Fit For You.

MI: (Matt Inawat) Have you always worked with the fitness industry? What's the best advice you've gotten so far in starting up Right Fit for You?

SP: (Sam Provenzano) I've actually never worked in the fitness industry, but fitness has always played a large role in my life. I was an athlete in high school and still play competitive tennis and basketball here in Chicago. I've had a few friends that became personal trainers and have worked with a few fantastic ones over the years. A good personal trainer knows how to push you to your limits and that's something that I enjoy.

The best advice I've gotten so far with Right Fit for You was "just to go for it." I definitely had a few doubts creep in my head as the process really got underway, but I had to believe in my vision and myself. It's been a great ride so far and I learn something new every day.

MI: What special requests or needs do you see from the LGBT community when it comes to finding the right trainer that might be a little different from just doing a Google search or sifting through the phonebook?

SP: Well, when I got the idea of Right Fit for You - I did some homework and noticed that there are websites similar to but there was nothing catered to the LGBTQ community, so I thought to myself… well there are gay and straight bars out there and the majority of the LGBTQ community enjoy going to both, but at the end of the day most prefer going out to a gay or gay-friendly bar because at the end of the day they feel most comfortable there. That's how I look at Right Fit for You.

I wanted to provide the LGBTQ community with an online marketplace of Personal Trainers that the LGBTQ community can relate to - no questions asked, no insecurities. We're all about ensuring a comfortable personal training atmosphere for the LGBTQ community from beginning to end.

MI: How many trainers have signed up so far?

SP: We have already signed up a little more than 15—and that's basically been from word of mouth and a few Facebook posts here and there. Once we get out into the community, I know that our database will surely start to grow. After all, there's no cost for a trainer to create a profile and they are getting access to a whole new group of people and potential clients. It's a win-win for all parties.

MI: Do the trainers on RFFY have any specific training or experience working with gay clients?

SP: Some do... and many of our trainers who identify as straight allies to the community have gay siblings or friends and they feel empowered to create a positive and comfortable atmosphere for gay clients. We have a nice mix of trainers who identify as LGBT or as straight allies to the community, it's great.

MI: So walk us through the match-up part of finding the right trainer. What's that process look like?

SP: Well, it's simple! We provide people with two different ways to find the right personal trainer:

They can search our personal trainer database and customize their search by zip code, areas of expertise, price and more! Or if someone doesn't feel like searching our database, they can actually fill out our online "Match Me" form and we will match them with the right personal trainer that fits their needs and of course, budget.

Once someone is interested in working with one of our trainers, he/she can send us a message from that trainer's profile and we'll contact them to discuss goals, package deals and more. Once we feel that they are a solid client lead for the trainer—we'll pass them on to that trainer to setup a free consultation. Once they are ready to purchase a training package they can do so from our website or send us a check for the training package.

MI: Tell us about your most successful match so far!

SP: Well, we've actually had quite a few, but we received an inquiry from a young guy straight out of college who just came out of the closet. He was a little nervous and intimidated about working one-on-one with a trainer, but he knew he had to get in better physical shape. Well, he found a great trainer from our site, who also happened to be gay. I checked back in to see how it was all going for him and he said he's not only gotten in better shape physically, but he's been able to talk about the coming out process with his trainer and the trainer has almost taken a mentor role with him... pretty cool if you ask me!

MI: Where would you like to see Right Fit for You go in the future?

SP: Well, I really want to see Right Fit for You go mainstream, but I also want to perfect as many things as I can here locally—so I'm really focused on building momentum here in the Chicago and Northwest Indiana areas and then expand. I don't want to bite off more than I can chew at this point. I just have to be patient and that isn't something that comes naturally for me… but I'm working on it.

MI: Anything else we should know about Right Fit for You?

SP: Yes, although our focus is primarily geared toward the LGBTQ community - anyone is welcome to utilize Right Fit for You as a means to find the right Personal Trainer who will fit all of their needs and budget. Give us a try!

Right Fit For You can be found at http://www.rightfitforyou.com

Interviewed by Matt Inawat. Ron Matthew Inawat is president of the GoPride Network and contributes to ChicagoPride.com, PrideLA.com and other sites within the GoPride Network.