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Why are most people are not tracking their workouts?

Updated: Sep 6, 2019

I'm assuming that most people know that it's good practice to generally keep track of things.

Thanks to apps like Google Pay, it's simple to remember exactly what, when and where you spent your money. Thanks to apps like Netflix and YouTube, it's easy to look back on what movies or songs we listened too. Google Chrome keeps track of every website we visit and Google Maps knows exactly where we have been.

But what about fitness tracking?

I've tried a long list of apps and fitness trackers only to be left with half a solution. Even the new Apple Watch and Google Fit require manual data entry at some point. They for keeping track of basic activity, but wouldn't it be great to automatically track every exercise, set, rep, form, and more. Well I certainly think It would be.

So far, I've only found two ways to do this - hire a personal trainer, ask a friend to track everything for you, or use a fitness tracker where I need to stop after every set and waste time entering in all the data.

To put it simply, tracking fitness is time-consuming!

Even though people can afford to waste time checking Instagram or watching videos between workouts, we don’t want to enter data. The process is annoying for both gym members and personal trainers.

Here is the current process using to track a single exercise:

  • Open App

  • Login Screen

  • View Activity Feed

  • Select Menu / Exercises

  • Scroll to search for the exercise

  • Select Exercise

  • Check Previous Workout Data

  • Scroll to “Log”

  • Scroll to “Date” / Select Data

  • Scroll, find Exercise & Weight / Select

  • Return to Current Exercise

  • Enter Weight (Load)

  • Start Exercise

  • Count repetitions in the head or use an activity tracker

  • When complete, enter repetitions.

  • Return to Current Exercise Screen - Repeat

From my personal experience, around 20 - 30 minutes are lost per workout when tracking & monitoring exercises with current applications.

It’s too difficult!

I've discovered ways to track pin-loaded machines but the current process is flawed. Some of the equipment has QR codes, but some don’t. This means you need to switch apps or sync data across multiple apps. Unless a gym has all the latest equipment, with the same brand and same QR codes, it makes it very difficult to track your workout.

Using a personal trainer isn't affordable.

$50 to $80 per session x 4 to 6 days per week, not much more to say. If you can afford a dedicated personal trainer to record and analyse all your workouts then you can also afford to get someone to read this blog post for you.

Mirrors are Impractical

Through my observations, I've noticed lots of gym members monitoring their form by observing mirrors. Some have even gone so far to recording themselves via cameras but this is not always practical.

It’s hard to look in the mirror when laying on a bench and using cameras in a gym raises privacy issues. Not everyone enjoys being filmed grunting and sweating.

Overall, current fitness trackers and applications have failed on resistance equipment because there is no stickiness that makes users “want” to track their workouts.

The gain is not worth the pain. So here's to gymsym, a project that I started due to my frustration with current technology.

by Dane Dobre

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