THERE ARE THREE types of people in this world: those who make things happen, those who watch things happen and those who wonder what happened. Meet Mike De La Vergne, from Eugene, OR, who saw an opportunity, took a chance and made things happen by creating Workout Buddies, an app that has revolutionized the way people work out.
HOW IT STARTED
Three years ago, Mike and his girlfriend Katie Juth’s schedules became too busy to continue going to the gym together, so they began looking for ways to find other people to work out with to keep them accountable and motivated. Unfortunately, their efforts were unsuccessful, so Mike began researching apps that might help. “I discovered that no such app existed and it became obvious there was a need to create one to fill the hole in the industry," he says.
Over the next year, Mike and Katie began discussions on creating an app. Mike began initial design on Microsoft Publisher and in December 2013, the couple worked with Mzure, the same company that originally developed Bodybuilding.com’s apps. By September 2014, the Workout Buddies app was launched for Apple devices, and by the end of January, the app will be available for Google Android. “Workout Buddies was created from the desire to make an easy way for all people to connect with someone to work out with,” he says.
HOW IT WORKS
Workout Buddies is a free app that provides users with workout partners in their area by using their mobile device’s GPS. When a user first logs in, he or she can choose to register with Facebook or his/her email address. Upon registration, the user fills out a fitness profile answering questions regarding gender, age, demographics, gym affiliation, fitness interests and available times. Users are also able to upload a profile photo. There are options to select body type and the preferred gender of the workout partner. Once registered, users can find someone to work out with by one of three ways:
(1) With a general map search of users in their area
(2) By viewing currently posted workouts in the area and
(3) By posting their own specific workout. For safety reasons, users must send and accept friend requests to others in order to communicate with them on the app.
THE MAX MUSCLE CONNECTION
One unique feature of the Workout Buddies business is that it is an affiliate partner with Max Muscle Sports Nutrition and sells Max Muscle's fitness nutrition products within the app. The link between healthy living through proper nutrition and exercise coupled with supplementation is important to Mike and Katie. And, with plenty of nutrition retailers to choose from, why Max Muscle? Mike responded, "I've discovered through research that Max Muscle's products were healthier and more natural than most products on the market and I liked that they are all made in the U.S.A.." He also was impressed with the connection and relationship that the Max Muscle staff has with each customer.
Currently, Max Muscle is the only nutritional retailer that Workout Buddies is affiliated with and the reviews have been positive. "The app allows consumers to find a nearby store through simple navigation, research products, purchase them and find workout partners," says Mike.
WHY YOU SHOULD TRY IT
"No one wants to work out alone," says Mike. "Whether a person wants to go to the gym, do yoga, or find a few more people to fill spots on their pickup games, everyone needs a workout partner. We fill the void in the fitness industry that allows people to motivate each other by making them healthier. Workout Buddies also allows more people to enter the fitness industry that may have been intimidated to do it all alone."
LOOKING INTO THE FUTURE
In less than six months of existence, Workout Buddies has made a splash int he health and fitness industry. "Since the app has launched, it has been downloaded in 33 countries and all 50 states," Mike says proudly. "In less than three onths, we have more than 55,000 followers on facebook and our Instagram page has begun to catch attention. We have received great reviews and have even started sponsoring athletes of different industries." Mike's optimism is contagious and the future is bright for Workout Buddies!
Rochelle Marapao, Contributing Writer for MS&F Magazine