Ryerson School of Journalism
If you search “fitness” in The App Store, there are so many results that your finger would get tired from scrolling before you reached the bottom of the list. Despite the infinite amount of these apps, the selection is rather limiting.
That’s because none of them can tell what kind of training you need. Nick Corniel, founder of the newly released fitness app Trainer+, noticed this and wanted to fix it.
This app allows personal trainers to build plans and track the progress of clients without having to call or see them in-person. It combines the convenience of a traditional fitness app with the expertise of a personal trainer – for less money.
“Can we all agree that everyone would be better off with a trainer six days a week, but nobody can afford that?” Corniel said.
He said it is necessary to not only keep track of your metrics like calories consumed and burned but to ahave an expert guide you along the way.
“People used to be like ‘oh, I want to lose weight, so I’ll come and go on the treadmill for 30 minutes,’” Corniel said. “You’re never going to lose weight that way.”
This app is the shift away from thinking technology alone can solve all of our problems.
According to a study done by The University of Pittsburgh, people who wore fitness trackers lost less weight than those that tracked their diet and exercise with pen and paper.
These measurements are useless without context according to Nino Robles, a fitness specialist at Ryerson University.
“Unless you have the knowledge to build a fitness plan for yourself, these trackers might not be effective for you,” he said.
Some people insist fitness trackers have a place in their daily lives.
“It keeps you motivated seeing the reality of what you’re consuming and expending,” said Joanna Zdrojewska, who has been a personal trainer for more than a decade.
For the average exerciser, like the those in the study, the data from these devices can hinder their fitness goals.
“Sometimes, when you throw a tracker on it’s like the placebo effect… When people believe they are acting fit it justifies bad behaviours,” Corniel said.
Bikini competitor and self-described gym rat Petra Julika do not see the need for wearable fitness trackers.
“A Fitbit showing you took x amount of steps in a day doesn’t replace a workout and won’t get you looking like a model,” she said. “If I were to try the Fitbit maybe I would really enjoy it but right now I don’t think it’s a necessary staple in achieving fitness goals.”