Sessions Keeps Your Workouts Honest w/ Twilio SMS

Sure, working out is hard. For me, getting to the gym is even harder. I have to pack my gym bag the night before, set multiple alarms to get up in time to get to the gym before work, and prepare a counter-argument for the moment when I tell myself “you could definitely work out tomorrow.”

This elaborate process is simplified when you have a coach to get you to the gym, or just get you to exercise. Nick Crocker wanted to find an easier way to get people motivated to be healthy. After working at Boxee, Co-Founding We Are Hunted, and completing a Rock Health Fellowship, Nick developed and founded Sessions, an SMS powered, personal way to reach your fitness goals.  We had the chance to talk with Nick about where Sessions going, and the prominent role floss played in getting Sessions started.

What is Sessions and how does it work?

Sessions is a personal exercise coaching program. Our coaches work with participants to help them build sustainable exercise habits. We use text and email to give people the support, accountability and encouragement they need so it’s convenient and affordable like an app but effective like a personal trainer.

What inspired you to start sessions? What’s the backstory of the service?

In 2010, I had my first encounter with the healthcare system and was just overwhelmed by how bad it was. For people who rely on it, life can be extraordinarily difficult.

I’d been thinking and experimenting with behaviour change for a decade while at the same time working in technology and wanted to see if I could bring together all my passions to work on something that really mattered.

Exercising more is the single best thing you can do for your health and Sessions combined technology and behaviour change to help people live better, more active lives.
How does Sessions cater to people who may be too busy to commit to exercise or activity on their own?  

The hardest thing for busy people is to find more time in their calendar.

We focus on asynchronous communication which participants can engage with when they’re ready and we focus on finding exercise in the margins of people’s lives.

How does Sessions pair a user with the coach that’s right for them?

Our coaches build personalised plans for every person and we ask every participant – how can we help you to achieve your health goals – we base the entire experience on what the participant needs.

How does text interaction with coach and user affect a Sessions users results?

Our users tell us the most helpful thing is the personalised reminders. Getting a reminder at 6:50AM for a 7 AM session is too late. Reminding someone at 4PM the day before to put their gym shoes in their bag as soon as they get home has much more impact.

How are you using Twilio? Are there any other technologies you’re using to support Sessions?

Twilio powers our text messaging platform. It’s so convenient – our business would likely not exist in its current form if it weren’t for Twilio.

What’s next for Sessions?

We’re launching V3 of our product and completing further clinical piloting to validate our model.

It’s such a vital time to be working on this problem – the healthcare system’s about to be overhauled, humans have never in history done so much damage to themselves through lifestyle choices, we’re coming to a new level of understanding about what it takes to sustainably change behaviour and the ubiquity of mobile technology gives us the perfect trojan horse for healthy interventions.

This is happening right now and we’re excited to be learning at the cutting edge.