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Fitness Tool For Gyms Idea?

  • 07-01-2021 3:02am
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 163 ✭✭ MouseMan01


    Thinking of creating an online tool for gyms. That would take body type details such as current weight, goal weight?, age, sex, height and an email address.

    Then would do a simple calculation to divide the users into categories and send an email to them based on their goals/stats.

    The simplest way by far to do this is to simply calculate their BMI. Then send an email based on the five BMI categories ... underweight, healthy, overweight, obese, extremely obese.

    However, the gym owner I'm talking to says that would exclude bodybuilders. He'd prefer a calculation based on body type, current weight and goal weight.

    Personally, I don't know how many bodybuilders would be using the tool to begin with. Since a lot of bodybuilders are into bulking. Those that are cutting probably don't need a simple online tool IMO.

    However, I'm not a gym owner and he is. So his opinion is important.

    I'd love to get the educated opinion of the members on here.

    Goal weight/body weight vs BMI?

    And what kinda calculation makes sense to divide the former category into distinct categories? That also takes into account age, sex and height?

    Thanks guys,


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,480 ✭✭✭ Patsy167


    And what kinda calculation makes sense to divide the former category into distinct categories? That also takes into account age, sex and height?

    Thanks guys,[/QUOTE]

    Not sure what the thinking behind creating distinct categories is - Is it to create some sort of benchmark or comparison? Everyone's health and fitness goals are unique and there are so many other variables to consider that I'd focus on creating something that people can use to track their own unique progress etc.

    The whole debate on BMI has been done to death. It's a simplified measurement tool intended for large populations etc. I would focus on something that allows people to track individual goals. that could be weight, strength, volume, time, BF%.

    Good on you for putting time into creating a tool that will help people. I recall you working on something similar in the Nutrition forum also. Best of luck with this.


  • Registered Users Posts: 24,450 ✭✭✭✭ Alf Veedersane


    MouseMan01 wrote: »
    Thinking of creating an online tool for gyms. That would take body type details such as current weight, goal weight?, age, sex, height and an email address.

    Then would do a simple calculation to divide the users into categories and send an email to them based on their goals/stats.

    The simplest way by far to do this is to simply calculate their BMI. Then send an email based on the five BMI categories ... underweight, healthy, overweight, obese, extremely obese.

    However, the gym owner I'm talking to says that would exclude bodybuilders. He'd prefer a calculation based on body type, current weight and goal weight.

    Personally, I don't know how many bodybuilders would be using the tool to begin with. Since a lot of bodybuilders are into bulking. Those that are cutting probably don't need a simple online tool IMO.

    However, I'm not a gym owner and he is. So his opinion is important.

    I'd love to get the educated opinion of the members on here.

    Goal weight/body weight vs BMI?

    And what kinda calculation makes sense to divide the former category into distinct categories? That also takes into account age, sex and height?

    Thanks guys,

    The first thing you need to do is clearly define who is the user and what they need it to do. It doesn't really matter what you want to design, per se. You can build a brilliant tool with deadly functionality but if it's not what the end user wants then it's no use.

    I'm not entirely sure from the above what it is supposed to do/what the gym owner wants it to do.

    If the user is the gym owner, then what do they want it for? To categorise members and send them what exactly? Information to keep them going over a lockdown, i.e. a rough outline of a training and nutrition plan?

    BMI is fine as a variable for general population but it would likely exclude bodybuilders. Not sure how the gym owner wants a calculation based on body type, current weight and goal weight or what inputs he has to allow this be an automated tool so not sure how realistic it is.

    If the tools is to speed it all up for them, then they have to accept that any calculation is not going to capture everyone exactly. If they want to capture everyone exactly then maybe they need to look at what the tool is supposed to help them with


  • Registered Users Posts: 163 ✭✭ MouseMan01


    Excellent thanks guys. That's really helpful.

    The idea behind splitting people into categories, is that the gym would send them an email based on their category/body type.

    The problem with using goal weight/current weight and taking age, sex and height into account. is that the calculations might get messy.

    someone suggested that the tool should work by body fat %. which makes sense. I've tested a few online body fat % calculators and the only reasonably easy and accurate one out there is the US Navy method. But that requires you to know your neck and belly measurements.

    https://www.omnicalculator.com/health/navy-body-fat

    The beauty of BMI is there are 5 categories. So 5 different emails. The tool would be for gym newbies mostly. I'm not sure a body builder will get much out of a tool like this.

    Anyway, thanks for taking the time. Much appreciated :-)


  • Registered Users Posts: 24,450 ✭✭✭✭ Alf Veedersane


    MouseMan01 wrote: »
    Excellent thanks guys. That's really helpful.

    The idea behind splitting people into categories, is that the gym would send them an email based on their category/body type.

    The problem with using goal weight/current weight and taking age, sex and height into account. is that the calculations might get messy.

    someone suggested that the tool should work by body fat %. which makes sense. I've tested a few online body fat % calculators and the only reasonably easy and accurate one out there is the US Navy method. But that requires you to know your neck and belly measurements.

    https://www.omnicalculator.com/health/navy-body-fat

    The beauty of BMI is there are 5 categories. So 5 different emails. The tool would be for gym newbies mostly. I'm not sure a body builder will get much out of a tool like this.

    Anyway, thanks for taking the time. Much appreciated :-)

    If it's just to hit target the majority of normal, average members to send them standard enough information that may be helpful, then BMI is fine. I would just make sure that the information is relevant but they don't see that they have been classified as whatever level of obesity, for example, that the BMI scale says they are.

    I know from dealing with software developers that what someone thinks is a straightforward and simple thing to implement involves a lot of coding that might have a knock on effect. That just needs to be explained because they sound like they're focussing too much on making sure that some people don't get information that may be helpful (and the messiness of coding for that) rather than being satisfied that the vast majority will get something useful sent to them.

    The other problem is that the details they have on the members needs to be up to date or that will be a bigger issue for their targeting.


  • Registered Users Posts: 163 ✭✭ MouseMan01


    If it's just to hit target the majority of normal, average members to send them standard enough information that may be helpful, then BMI is fine. I would just make sure that the information is relevant but they don't see that they have been classified as whatever level of obesity, for example, that the BMI scale says they are.

    I know from dealing with software developers that what someone thinks is a straightforward and simple thing to implement involves a lot of coding that might have a knock on effect. That just needs to be explained because they sound like they're focussing too much on making sure that some people don't get information that may be helpful (and the messiness of coding for that) rather than being satisfied that the vast majority will get something useful sent to them.

    The other problem is that the details they have on the members needs to be up to date or that will be a bigger issue for their targeting.

    Thanks again Alf.

    I'll definitely take those comments onboard.

    I'll probably go with BMI... with a disclaimer.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 24,450 ✭✭✭✭ Alf Veedersane


    MouseMan01 wrote: »
    Thanks again Alf.

    I'll definitely take those comments onboard.

    I'll probably go with BMI... with a disclaimer.

    Just explain the difficulty in trying to capture too many variables is in the coding. BMI isn't perfect but as a marker for your average person, it probably gives a good indication.

    Just think of it as a bell curve....if you capture the majority of the area under except for maybe some under the tails on either side, that's absolutely fine.

    If the gym owner focuses too much on trying to capture everyone perfectly, they will miss the boat and probably won't achieve much, if any, more


  • Registered Users Posts: 37,180 ✭✭✭✭ Mellor


    If he has asked you not to use BMI then I wouldn’t use BMI.
    BMI is not very useful for what you want it to do.
    Not everyone with a BMI over 25 is trying to lose weight. You’ll be creating a situation where those people will be sent an email assuming they want to lose weight. Not very nice or helpful.


  • Registered Users Posts: 24,450 ✭✭✭✭ Alf Veedersane


    Mellor wrote: »
    If he has asked you not to use BMI then I wouldn’t use BMI.
    BMI is not very useful for what you want it to do.
    Not everyone with a BMI over 25 is trying to lose weight. You’ll be creating a situation where those people will be sent an email assuming they want to lose weight. Not very nice or helpful.

    If it's an average member, BMI will most likely be fine for the most part.

    The messaging is important. Needs to be framed in a way that isn't an obvious suggestion that they have been grouped in a certain grouping.

    I would question how accurate the details they have for most people are though so unless they take regular measurements, that's going to be a bigger issue.

    Ultimately, it might actually be easier to generate information that could be grouped based on different metrics and let the member self select which applies to them.


  • Registered Users Posts: 37,180 ✭✭✭✭ Mellor


    If it's an average member, BMI will most likely be fine for the most part.
    Probably not tbh.
    A lot of guys in the gym trying to add mass or get stronger could easily be “overweight”. It’s the most common category for adults. Certainly not only miscategorising bodybuilders.

    80kg @ 5’10” is classed as overweight.
    That’s not a particularly high bar.
    The messaging is important. Needs to be framed in a way that isn't an obvious suggestion that they have been grouped in a certain grouping.
    If the advice is to be useful. It has to align with a goal. The fact is you can’t tell a goal from BMI.

    Eg the 80kg guy above. Maybe he wants to lose weight. But the next guy is also 80kg at same height, but he wants to gain mass. BMI grouping sends them the same email, but their goals are opposites.

    Goal weight data avoids that issue.


  • Registered Users Posts: 24,450 ✭✭✭✭ Alf Veedersane


    Mellor wrote: »
    Probably not tbh.
    A lot of guys in the gym trying to add mass or get stronger could easily be “overweight”. It’s the most common category for adults. Certainly not only miscategorising bodybuilders.

    80kg @ 5’10” is classed as overweight.
    That’s not a particularly high bar.


    If the advice is to be useful. It has to align with a goal. The fact is you can’t tell a goal from BMI.

    Eg the 80kg guy above. Maybe he wants to lose weight. But the next guy is also 80kg at same height, but he wants to gain mass. BMI grouping sends them the same email, but their goals are opposites.

    Goal weight data avoids that issue.

    The tool is to allow the gym owner to send that information out. Im presuming from information they have. It doesn't appear to be based on member input so I don't know how goal weight could be ascertained.

    Looking around the gym I go to, BMI would be a reasonable metric if the gym owner wants to take something from a database to send out to members.

    If it's something that would have a member interface that would change what and how you could target the information because otherwise there is no way of knowing if that 80kg chap wants to bulk or lose weight.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 9,477 ✭✭✭ runawaybishop


    Trying to lose/gain weight? We'll use your BMI - then code your case statements to fire out the correct mail.

    Trying to gain muscle? Send out different mail.

    It's not either or lads, you can use both methods.


  • Moderators, Entertainment Moderators, Politics Moderators Posts: 14,244 Mod ✭✭✭✭ johnnyskeleton


    Instead of asking a gym goer what their BMI is and then trying to guess what they want in the gym, could you just ask them straight up what their goals are?

    A simple multiple choice option could be if they want to:
    A) lose fat
    B) gain muscle mass
    C) improve endurance
    D) general health and fitness
    E) mobility/flexibility improvements

    And for each box they tick send them an email. The mails could be sent on different days of the week so that the person who wants to do 3 of the above isnt getting 3 emails on the same day.

    A more involved process could be that someone who ticks a and b gets sent information on body composition transformation and the realitiies of same, or someone who picks B and D gets sent info on Les Mills/F45 classes etc.

    You could also have an "F) other - please specify" where people can, for example, say that theyre recovering from an injury or want to learn to swim and then the gym owner gets a great opportunity to sell them on personal training and has an extra opportunity to remind them to seek medical advice etc.


  • Registered Users Posts: 24,450 ✭✭✭✭ Alf Veedersane


    Trying to lose/gain weight? We'll use your BMI - then code your case statements to fire out the correct mail.

    Trying to gain muscle? Send out different mail.

    It's not either or lads, you can use both methods.

    Yep. I had thought that the gym owner had a database of members that he wanted to categorise so an automated email could be issued and so what was issued had no input from the member.

    If its something that has an input from the member, then that's obviously very different and allows something more targeted to be sent out.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,477 ✭✭✭ runawaybishop


    Yep. I had thought that the gym owner had a database of members that he wanted to categorise so an automated email could be issued and so what was issued had no input from the member.

    If its something that has an input from the member, then that's obviously very different and allows something more targeted to be sent out.

    Right, the mail can be built with specific paragraphs based on a goal or combination of goals. It's just a big use case selection. The hardest part really is correctly identifying the users ultimate goals, once you can categorise them you just fire out the relevant info.

    Op, you need the gym owner to work with you to identify these categories and the subsequent info.


  • Registered Users Posts: 37,180 ✭✭✭✭ Mellor


    Yep. I had thought that the gym owner had a database of members that he wanted to categorise so an automated email could be issued and so what was issued had no input from the member.

    If its something that has an input from the member, then that's obviously very different and allows something more targeted to be sent out.

    I doubt member database has height/weight info.
    The goal weight suggest cane from the gym owner. So presumably the plan includes member input. Which is why I think BMI is a poor option.


  • Registered Users Posts: 24,450 ✭✭✭✭ Alf Veedersane


    Mellor wrote: »
    I doubt member database has height/weight info.
    The goal weight suggest cane from the gym owner. So presumably the plan includes member input. Which is why I think BMI is a poor option.

    Yeah perhaps. Not sure why i thought it was being driven purely by inputs from the gym owner's side but that's what I was basing my comments on


  • Registered Users Posts: 24,450 ✭✭✭✭ Alf Veedersane


    Right, the mail can be built with specific paragraphs based on a goal or combination of goals. It's just a big use case selection. The hardest part really is correctly identifying the users ultimate goals, once you can categorise them you just fire out the relevant info.

    Op, you need the gym owner to work with you to identify these categories and the subsequent info.

    Yeah I've worked on something similar - not on the coding side - to develop models based on applying values that would have been broadly applicable and a separate one they had a user interface to allow users to input values and there is a clear difference in the outputs.


  • Registered Users Posts: 10 ✭✭✭ melissajeffrey


    That's really great.


  • Registered Users Posts: 163 ✭✭ MouseMan01


    Thanks guys,

    You've really given me food for thought. The tool is ready for testing now.

    It'll calculate your Body Mass Index and tell you whether you are underweight, healthy, overweight or obese. It'll also calculate your weight loss stats. eg. how long it should take you to get to your desired weight (if you are overweight or obese).

    I'd post here, but i don't want a ban for self-promotion. If anyone wants to have a go of the tool PM me and I'll send you on the URL.

    At the moment it just handles BMI and weight loss. But in the future, i hope to add conditional statements that cover a wider range of stats eg. age, sex, goals etc...

    None of the external links work yet on the email newsletter.


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