When it comes to exercise, both motivation and enjoyment tend to be a lot higher when friends are involved. They cheer us on, challenge us and make exercise more social. The App Store is stuffed with exercise, fitness and wellness apps of all kinds, and by this point, eyes roll every time a new fitness app launches.
Two former Microsoft product managers beg to differ. They launched Cody earlier this year because they believe that a key part of the fitness puzzle is still missing: Social. Cody set out to create a mobile platform and community that encouraged people to share their workout-focused content with their friends — be they pictures, images or tips. Basically, an Instagram/Facebook for exercise.
Of course, with Endomondo, GAIN Fitness, Fitocracy and others already trying to build their own permutations of “The Facebook for Fitness,” Cody has tried to set itself apart by reducing the friction. In other words, by become a mobile fitness coach that people aren’t frustrated or intimidated by. Rather than cater to hardcore fitness enthusiasts like so many other fitness apps, Cody avoids going to deep into the fitness-tracking world and is far less reliant on graphs and metrics.
When it started out, the app focused on increasing the success and enjoyment level of workouts by using its own friendly robot (named Cody) to provide users with access to their own workouts and curated content (like articles) which Cody aimed to personalize to the individual. (To varying degrees of success.)
With its most recent update, however, Cody has moved in the direction of GAIN Fitness and now allows trainers to post their favorite workouts and fitness programs into the community and your feed (if you’re following those trainers). The idea is allow trainers who already have their own followings to leverage that audience and bring it to Cody, which is both a bonus for Cody (its user base grows) and the trainer’s audience as it gets access to a new mobile and social fitness community. Or at least that’s the idea.
The new version of Cody allows trainers to share multimedia content within Cody as well, bringing video to the app’s community, and allowing users to watch these short videos and try 10-day cardio challenges, upper body workouts and so on. The trainers can then add to those videos as they go, providing feedback, pointers or striking up a conversation with their audience via Cody.
At the outset, most of this content was free and curated by Cody’s editorial team itself, but as it goes forward, the Cody community will see trainers begin charging for their expert routines, along with more content. By helping its best trainers to start making money, Cody hopes that it can begin generating some revenue as well.
Furthermore, by slowly relinquishing editorial control and allowing trainers to post more of their own content, the founders hope that more multimedia content will start to flow through the network, increasing engagement and enjoyment as a result. As another way to encourage that, Cody has made its “Training Programs” available on the Web, in addition to mobile.
For more, find the startup’s announcement here.