Workout Buddies

Ducks Create App That Helps with New Year’s Exercise Resolutions

The most popular New Year’s Resolution, year in and year out, is the desire to lose weight and get in shape.

However, a recent study conducted by a researcher at Kansas State University showed that people are more likely to continue exercising if they had someone to work out with, showing that the company you keep might be as important as your internal desire to improve yourself.

Enter Mike De La Vergne and Katie Juth ’11, a pair of Ducks who have created an app that might just make it easier to keep exercise-related New Year’s Resolutions, regardless of the resolver’s activity level and interests.

Called “Workout Buddies,” the new app lets users enter information about their fitness level and preferred activities, then find fellow users nearby who share common interests.

“Workout buddies is the first social media app in the world that lets you find a workout buddy anywhere, at any time,” said De La Vergne. “It’s categorized so that you can make an in-depth profile on yourself—your interests, your goals, how many times you like to work out—it’s really for anyone in any area of fitness to find someone to work out with.

“The number one problem with people in this industry who are trying to get fit is that they don’t have anyone to hold them accountable. This is the first app that can hold anyone accountable to their fitness goals.”

The way the app works is straightforward. After entering exercise-related information to create their own personal profile, users can then browse through profiles of fellow users near them to find people with similar interests. To contact a user, one must first send a friend request. If the friend request is accepted, then the two users can communicate and arrange a time to meet to work out. The GPS can also be turned off at any time, in case users don’t want their location to be constantly indicated.

“I wanted someone who could keep me accountable,” said Juth, whose own workout interests differ from De La Vergne’s. “A lot of times I’d think, ‘Yeah, I’ll go to the gym today!’ but it never happened. I found on times where my schedules did line up with my friends, I was more effective because I had someone with me. It was really a no-brainer that we would put out something like this.”

The app has a wider potential audience than just people looking to be held accountable, though. Personal trainers can find clients, running teams can find members, and organizers of pickup games can list the games themselves on the app for people to find.

The app is currently available for free at the iTunes store, and will be available on Android shortly.