Q: Why Did You Create The trackbodi.es iOS App?

Q: Why did you create the trackbodi.es app for the iPhone? Aren’t there already lots of great workout apps?

A: Great question, and one I’ve been meaning to write about for a while.  The basis of trackbodi.es is about the first principle of my 10 Principles – “track it”. ‘It” can be anything, which is the whole point. trackbodi.es is meant to be a way to track performance in any situation – both for working out and for your body. That’s where its name came from. It’s not just a tie into newbodi.es, but all about tracking your body – whatever it is about your body you want to record and track.

There are apps that are single-minded that are great that I recommend to lots of people – RunKeeper, Nike+ Running, etc. They are meant to track one thing (in their cases, running), and do it well with lots of tools (GPS w/ mapping, pedometer, calorie counter, real time feedback on performance) and a whole ecosystem around them. But if you want to do a different exercise, they either don’t work at all (like for weight lifting) or are sort of half-baked (like for biking – it works, but it calls it a run, the whole lingo is off and it may miss some key metrics while recording others that are irrelevant). They also don’t do anything with or for your body metrics – like tracking weight loss, body fat percentage changes, blood pressure, heart beat rate, changes in skin caliper readings, circumference of key spots on your body, etc. If your goal is physical fitness and health, you should track both what you’re doing and what it’s doing for you in moving you toward your goals.

There are apps that are meant to be all things to all people. I’ve looked at quite a few, and spoken to some of their developers about working together. When I say, “all things,” what I have really seen is, “many things.” I don’t see any that cross workouts and body stats beyond maybe a place to put in your weight.  Weight is good to track in some cases, but it’s irrelevant in others. I watch mine, but my goal has nothing to do with it, and I could just as easily throw it out. I need something that records body fat, circumference (of five locations) and skin caliper pinches (three different spots). As for what’s out there, they are just not clean or easy to use, in my opinion. User interfaces are confusing, look and feel is very much overdone (lots of beveling and bling to the look, which just doesn’t feel at home on iOS, and only adds to the clutter and confusion). I have tried to use several and, after investing a lot of time building a workout, I couldn’t find how to get back to the point where I enter performance or use the workout I just spent a ton of time building. And after all of that, they still lacked the body metric component.

So, I wanted something that could be applied to any situation for workouts and for tracking your body. I wanted something clean and simple looking and as easy to use as possible. Is it as good at X as a dedicated app? No. Is it as feature rich as some of the generalist apps? No. I don’t want it to be.

The only way I could get what I was looking for, was to build it myself.  I hope everyone will at least try the free version of trackbodi.es, and it will help them watch what’s important as they go for a new goal. Tracking your progress toward health is the single most important step as you enlighten.your.body.

About bryan falchuk

bryan falchuk is the founder of newbodi.es, a certified personal trainer, behavior change specialist and the best-selling author of "Do a Day". bryan coaches people on their whole health - the physical, mental and emotional combination of wellness that we need to thrive and change our lives.

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