The content of this blog is my personal opinion only. Although I am an employee - currently of Nvidia, in the past of other companies such as Iagination Technologies, MIPS, Intellectual Ventures, Intel, AMD, Motorola, and Gould - I reveal this only so that the reader may account for any possible bias I may have towards my employer's products. The statements I make here in no way represent my employer's position, nor am I authorized to speak on behalf of my employer. In fact, this posting may not even represent my personal opinion, since occasionally I play devil's advocate.

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Sunday, March 12, 2017

ISO social fitness challenges beyond fitbit

Some friends and I have been doing FitBit social fitness challenges for a while - I think more than a year now, possibly even two.

The social aspect has been effective, motivating us to do more than we were doing on our own.

We find the "Daily Goal" challenge most useful - what fraction of your daily goal did you get? -  since we have different levels of activity, ranging from circa 10K steps, to 15K+, to a treadmill desk user who usually gets 20K and often 30-40K steps.  Absolute step count challenges are boring when users are that different, but these relative "I got 150% of my goal :-)" vs "I only got 50% of my goal" are okay.

But - there's more to exercise than walking and counting steps.  Or even running and counting steps.

Some of us like swimming.  Others badminton.  Some aspire to do more weights, others yoga.   Calisthenics, pushups, squats, ...

So I am looking for social fitness platforms that have more variety.


Andy "Krazy" Glew said...

Tried out fitocracy. FAIL. http://blog.andy.glew.ca/2017/03/trying-out-fitocracy-nah.html

Andy "Krazy" Glew said...

In the past tried out http://stridekick.com. Recently with a friend; further back, by myself.

Has potential. I liked the "trail" idea, like virtually hiking across Canada or around a lake in Nicaragua. But they have not developed that idea sufficiently. Fitbit did better with their Adventure challenges, like the Yosemite Valley Loop or NYC Marahon, with photos along the way. But I was finished with FotBit's adventures in a few weeks, and no more have been forthcoming. While Stridekick has many more, they are all boring. Can create own, but is a pain/

It would be nice to integrate with Google Earth - e.g. say "I want to walk from Halifax to Vancouver, on whatever route Google maps chooses for walking - show me stuff from Google Earth and streetview alog the way."

Aso, Stridekick only has absolute step count challenges. Boring. Want relative.

Andy "Krazy" Glew said...

Might as well try to collect some other "social fitness" apps/websites to try:

Endomondo (distance)

Fitstar - related to FitBit, session oriented (same credit for a 7 minute and a 20 minute workout). Doesn't seem to do challenges between friends. Does do yoga, which I need.

Strava - running

RunKeeper - guess?

Teemo - sounds like interesting group oriented.

EveryMove - points, points, points!!

Sworkit - find a quick workout in short idle times

FitNet - video match your movement to displayed exercise

MyFitnessPal - calories yes, but also exercise, may encourage comaprison not just steps

Many, many, more. It's a maze of twisty passages, all almost identical but differing slightly.

Andy "Krazy" Glew said...

I used to really like Jawbone's UP app. Mainly for its automated coaching and motivational sayings.

But I never found a friend using it. Whereas my company giving out FitBits quickly led to finding a group of people I know.

Andy "Krazy" Glew said...

I'd like to just do a skin, a mashup - rather than having to reinvent the wheel, chassis, and entire automobile. I wish I could leverage some other site or somebody else's work wrt synching to fitbit devices and Apple Health and Google Fit and hand entry and .... and just work on the stuff that nobody is doing right, like relative challenges for non-step metrics.

I can't call fitness a mature market, but it has the characteristics of one, like CAD or wordprocessing: where it is easy to come up with new ideas, improvements, but where you have to do everything else as well. Let alone monetize.

Q: could a social fitness platform, that did all of the basic work, allow plugins and extensions to be placed on top? And give everyone involved whatever hopes of monetization?


I just want to use this. But I despair of finding it in what is already out there. Moreover, it is just plain painful to do such produt research.

OpenSource federated social networks. Problem: HIPAA?

Andy "Krazy" Glew said...

I really need to take this to a wiki, so that my friends can help with the research, and we can update a "Best so far"

Andy "Krazy" Glew said...

Things I want in a (social) fitness app:

Relative to goal, for any metric:

e.g. goal: 100 pushups per day. Give me percentages.

Relative to goal by day. By week.

By moving window, e.g. "I want to do a calisthenic HIT workout at least two days in every 5".

Count workouts, as above. And/or count minutes in workouts.

Seinfelding: calendar display that shows a tick or a check every day you reached your goal (and an X when you did not).

Bronze/silver/gold, for different goal levels. E.g. bronze 10K, silver 16K, gold 25K steps in a day.

Goals in terms of medals: in every week I want to get bronze or better 6 days a week, silver or better 3 days a week, and gold at least once a week.

Seinfeld bronze/silver/gold, for different goal levels. E.g.medals on the calendar.

Seinfeld medal/goal levels of different classes: e.g. steps, vertical, swimming, weights, stretching.

Andy "Krazy" Glew said...

Workout balancing:

Track how much leg time vs arm time (walking vs swimming vs cross country skiing vs kayak paddling).

Goals in terms of such balance.

(Note: I have both pedal and a paddle kayaks)

Andy "Krazy" Glew said...

I want to be able to use a rowing machine, and participate in challenge with friends who are walking.

Andy "Krazy" Glew said...

I want to be able to take all of the info a tracker or gym machine reports, and record it. But also to be able to mark as valid or suspect - e.g. my fitbit steps are accurate in some sense, but distance is not, and calories are way out there. I may also have GPS miles fi the same walk - but where I live in hills and canyons, GPS is suspect to.