Pair is an interesting app that tries to connect couples. It has standard messaging features—texting, picture messaging, etc. But you can also send your partner a “thinking of you” nudge. It’s a standard messaging thread optimized for the kinds of content couples are likely to share. This inspires me to think of ways to increase the connection between trainers and their clients. Fitness is about more than working out for a few hours a week, eating properly and making good life choices have long been regarded as been part of the path to success. One of our trainers said that the mark of a good trainer is one that helps clients hit their goals. Maybe an app that keeps trainers in touch with clients would be awesome. A client trying to lose weight could take a picture of the food and send that to the trainer, and receive positive feedback for eating healthy. A trainer can send the client a workout plan and the client can follow it interactively through their workout. I think there are a lot of ways to keep the relationship between client and trainer strong in and out of the gym, and a dedicated messaging app may be an interesting way to approach this.
WhenIsGood, Doodle, and Google Calendar help the trainer and the client schedule times to meet together in an easy and quick medium. It can also be good for setting a committed schedule as to when they should meet. Google Calendar has options for reminders and Pops, especially when it is synced with someone’s phone. It is also great for syncing each other’s calendars. If the trainer is not available to workout with the client, maybe the trainer can find another client who has a similar schedule and set them up to workout together by sharing each other’s calendars. This is also great for the trainer to know how busy they are and for them to see. All three do a good job in showing which blocks of the day are free and which one of those are full. This way, clients can always make/find time to work out and commit to getting/staying in shape.
Fitocracy is primarily a feedback tool for people who are exercising. It awards points based on activities, and each user can "level up" based on their points. In addition, fitocracy contains "challenges," specific workouts and goals that, if completed, will award the user bonus points. The model of challenges and bonus points could tie in well with personal trainers. As it is, on Fitocracy the challenges are generated by who-knows-what, and don't often appeal to the user. Say, the user is trying to get fit to bike across the country, they might not be interested in seeing challenges such as "swim a mile." If the app tied in with a personal trainer, the trainer could issue personalized challenges to their trainee, specifically targeted at their fitness goals. This could be used as an incentive mechanism for the trainee. The trainer could set a number of challenges, and come up with point rewards for each one. For example, for a long distance runner, the trainer might enter run 6 miles in under an hour, 1000 points, and run 8 miles, any speed, 1500 points. The runner could then make their own decision as to which challenge to shoot for first (or go for both!).