A new app is putting a modern spin on meeting people at the gym.
SWEATT, a free New York City-based dating app launching nationally this week on iTunes, is geared toward the fitness community. Users answer questions about their fitness routine and are matched based on their lifestyle, fitness and wellness preferences.
We chatted with founder Dan Ilani, 37, to learn more about the app and his own fitness routine.
How did SWEATT come about?
There’s been a super rapid growth in dating app usage over the last couple of years. New dating apps are filling the marketplace, and most of them really for the most part are variations on Tinder. My experiences with these apps is as they become more and more popular … it became more about a volume game. There was a really clear reduction in the quality of matches. What I realized was missing from the experience that I was having was not just finding people with shared interests, but really people with a shared mindset. That’s an interesting filter that is harder to come by these days. In the last decade or so, fitness has gone from becoming fit to a culture and a lifestyle.
How does the app work?
For the most part, the app works like you would expect any other dating app to work. The big and noticeable difference to the user is a really strong emphasis on a really clean aesthetic. It feels more like Instagram — these big photos of people you’ve matched with. Some of the questions we ask you are your favorite time of day to work out and your average frequency of workouts per week, and behind the scenes we use those calculations to make some guesses about your overall lifestyle and offer good quality options. That being said, it’s not a science — it’s not like people who work out three times a week should only meet people who work out three times a week. There will be all sorts of people they will find. It’s about stacking the deck to meet people who will match well. People get to display their two favorite workouts — yoga, running, dance, CrossFit, that kind of thing. It’s an easy reference and tells you something about the person.
Can it be used to meet people in general too?
It is going to be an evolution. Right now it’s a dating app. It’s intended for that use. I really believe that people will create really amazing friendships around it, and that will be fantastic, but for right now, it really is a dating app for the fitness community.
What are some of your recommendations for fitness-minded dates?
I think finding something someone is into and the other person doesn’t know about and isn’t a part of — it’s fun to get a glimpse into someone else’s community and world. I think somewhere where you can get a really good burn and sweat together, but also somewhere where you can have some interaction with each other. At the very least, if you don’t enjoy your date you get a workout out of it.
What is your fitness routine like?
I’m a little ADD about fitness. About once a year I need to totally change it up. This summer has been a big running summer for me because my girlfriend was training for the marathon. I was a big bootcamper for a long time. Definitely in the last few years I’ve gotten into the studio experience — I do a lot of yoga. I think CrossFit might be the next one for me. It’s fun to learn new things. And we’re really spoiled and fortunate — we have some of the best access to mind and body training in the city. I also just went to a new meditation studio [MNDFL] that opened a few weeks ago. All this working out, it’s also good to sit still for a minute.
What are your go-to health spots?
I’m a big Vitamix person — I get my dose of health in the morning, then I eat whatever I want for the rest of the day. I definitely go through my phases, I try and not eat any sugar, but for the most part, it’s hard to live in New York and not enjoy the restaurants and food. For me it’s about a balance.