|Location||Online, HK based|
|Price||$$ (scroll down for price details)|
|Services||Online and mobile customized personal training in fitness and nutrition|
|Launched in||April 2017|
EVOLVE by Melissa was created by Melissa Gut, American experienced fitness and nutrition coach. She’s currently based in Hong Kong and provides PT sessions here but can obviously provide programs and coaching wherever you are.
Who is Melissa?
The least we can say is that Melissa Gut is an experienced coach. Top Personal Trainer, Strength and Conditioning Coach for adults, youth, and professional athletes, Crossfit Coach, High School Volleyball Coach, Athlete at the Collegiate level and Recreational level, Crossfit Asia Regional Athlete… Her CV is impressive and she’s also a mom of 2!
With a strong experience in programming and coaching for all fitness levels and a Masters in Science, she promises that whatever your goals may be, she can work with you to create a personalized program to help you reach it, supporting you and helping you to do so.
How does it work?
You’ll first of all fill in a detailed questionnaire about your condition, your goals, the time you have available to train, the equipment you have at your disposal etc. It’s basically what she needs to know you a bit and program for you the most efficient way.
Once ready, the program will be put at your disposal in the app and you’ll have a video call with Melissa to discuss it and answer your questions. After that, it’s go time!
The technical aspect
Evolve has its own app, developed through Trainerize, fitness app that you may know as it’s used by a few trainers and gyms. Let’a have a little tour…
First, you get an overview of your training plan, with an intro and explanation Melissa wrote for you. You can see there all the sessions you can choose from, following her advice on what to do when.
In the calendar, Melissa entered for you the sessions and you just have to tick them when done (potentially adding comments, numbers…). No worries if you miss or switch a session, you can move the sessions to other dates.
For each training session, you have a little intro from Melissa first, for you to understand better the program, know how to warm-up, rest between sets etc. Then each exercise is detailed in a short and clear video she shot herself and notes on the key points to understand the movement and how to initiate it. The number of sets and reps are also clearly notified.
The human aspect
The app also includes an instant messaging tool where you can get in touch with Melissa anytime and believe me, you won’t have to wait long! No idea how she does that but she’s crazy reactive. She’ll always reach out as well when you’ve ticked a session, to know how it went, how long it took etc. All this is precious information for her to get to know you and adapt future sessions. But it’s also how you get accountable!
She may not be there with you during the session but you definitely have a coach and you know it. She’s attentive, asks the right questions, and won’t let you go with a “yeah all good”.
What do you need?
Melissa can totally program sessions to do with no equipment, at home, in the park, in a hotel room… It’s not a problem. I tried some and they were great. But I still think you need to have access to a gym of some sort though, not necessarily every day but at least for a few regular sessions. This way you get more variety in terms of exercise and challenge, which is good for your training and also for your motivation.
You need preparation: check the program the day before because if you discover once you’ve started that you can’t perform a movement or you don’t have in the gym the exact equipment shown on your program, it’s too late. Melissa can always explain and adapt, but it needs to be done before the session obviously. Same thing to understand well the timing, the movements that are new for you etc.: on the spot is too late.
But mainly, you need a solid motivation. You’ll be alone facing your phone at the gym, the only one gathering your equipment for your session, the only one keeping time for your rest or exercises in tempo. So there’s no other way to put it: if you’re not motivated enough, you won’t be consistent and if you’re not consistent, you won’t reach your goals. It’s that simple.
So concretely, is it for you?
The program is great, it’s indisputable. Same when it comes to Melissa’s ability to be present as a coach, even at a distance. It’s undeniable. I felt challenged through the session and supported on the journey. But like I said, you’re still by yourself during the session.
So I’d say Evolve by Melissa is for you if you know you’ll have enough self-discipline, commitment, and motivation to consistently prepare your sessions beforehand and train by yourself. If you crave company at training and your thing is group classes, it may be a bit harder for you. Although you could probably keep a class or two per week and integrate it in your program as long as it’s discussed with Melissa!
One of the struggles I faced and wasn’t expecting is how difficult it actually is to pace yourself, track your time and rest. The more you do it and the easier it gets but extra tools like a chronometer can be handy.
Online fitness programs (4 or 12 weeks, with more or less video/in-person consults, meal planning or not, PT sessions or not) range from HK$800 to HK$9,500.
- PT session for HK$800
- Nutrition plan with more or less video/in-person consults for HK$600 to HK$1,000
You can find all the price details here.
EVOLVE by Melissa