Development Fitness

ExerPlan – Exercise Planning App

ExerPlan is the working title of a new app I’m working on, designed as a general exercise planner.

In the past I used Excel to plan my running training. More recently I’ve started doing more types of exercise, such as strength training, yoga, and lots of walking. I wanted an app to record and monitor my plans, rather than having to use Excel, and so I started work on ExerPlan.

With Excel and a big screen it was easy to see a full training plan at once. That won’t be possible on an iPhone screen, but my aim is to offset the loss of readability with the fact that I’ll have the plans to hand more often. I may eventually extend the app to iPad so I can get some of that big screen functionality back, but my initial focus will be on the iPhone.

ExerPlan will be based around the concept of activity types and sub-types. An activity will be something like “Running”, “Walking”, “Yoga”, while a sub-type might be “Hill Running” or “Intervals”. The app will allow the user to plan sessions of those activities in one of two ways. They’ll be able to add the planned activities to a calendar-style view, but also group activities into Plans. For example, a user might want to do yoga twice a week but not have it be part of any particular plan. Whereas, another user might want to enter a 16-week marathon training plan. ExerPlan will allow for both these things to be logged.

Once an activity is added it can be updated with the actual activity, e.g. I planned to run 5 miles, but only ran 3. In this way I’ll be able to track planned vs actuals, and provide data visualisations. I’ll be able to track performance against the plan, and also against specific activity types, e.g. how often do I plan a Hills session and how often do I actually complete them! I may also implement a badge system to “reward” users if they complete enough planned activities, but I think that’ll be a V2 development.

I’ve been designing ExerPlan for a few weeks and I finally started coding the app last week. Most of the database gubbins has been written and I’ll be moving onto the good bit next; the UI.

Well, that’s the plan 🙂