NORWICH – Anyone familiar with social media knows there are many health enthusiasts that enjoy sharing their workout routines and flexing those efforts in posted selfies.
Norwich native Tyler Slater noticed this and while working out with a group of friends he also noticed how many tracked or shared info in a variety of ways.
Many record their progress on sheets of paper at the gym, or used a health tracker, while others shared photos on Instagram or Facebook.
Slater decided to see if it would be possible to create a dedicated application that could do all those things and have additional features specifically aimed at serious athletes and others who use data to enhance their training.
He reached out to another friend and athlete for help in developing and funding the idea, Nate Foote.
The two named their project “Lift Off,” and began researching and getting technical advice on how to proceed.
“The ‘Lift Off’ mobile app, is going to be a free lifting and exercise app made available in the Apple Store and Google Play Store. It’s going to be a social media platform, kind of like sharing comments, videos and likes and all those things – similar to how people use Instagram or Facebook. But we will have a few features that a lot of serious athletes use.”
Foote added, “I would say it’s a platform for athletes and workout enthusiasts to take their gains and goals to another level by connecting with friends and users on the app. There are a lot of apps that have pieces of certain things – we hope everything the user needs is in this one app.”
One unique feature of the app will be a built-in competition, that will allow friends to challenge other members to workouts.
“You can challenge any other app user in any lift or exercise that you want. Say you want to challenge your friend to a bench press, you could do that. And then they would have a 24 to 48 hours to compete with it,” said Slater.
“Imagine a big high school game is coming up and one of the players on one of the teams reaches out on “Lift Off’ and challenges a player on the opposing team to a workout or training challenge before the game. It can add fuel, it makes it more fun and interesting,” explained Foote.
Not only can individuals make challenges on the platform, but whole groups can challenge other groups.
The partners hired a development company and spent about $7,000 of their own money to get the basics of the the program about 75 percent made. Now they are smoothing out the last steps of creating a finalized commercial version of the app.
In order to launch it they need to raise about another $10,000 to finish the program and get it into the digital stores.
The two have begun a Kickstarter campaign to raise the money. If they cannot raise the full amount within 30 days then all donations will not be billed.
If you would like to donate or back their project and receive possible rewards, please visit https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/liftoffapp/lift-off-mobile-app
According to Foote, Kickstarter is a funding platform often used by entrepreneurs for creative projects and company start ups. Everything from films, games, and music to art, design, and technology. Kickstarter is full of ambitious, innovative, and imaginative ideas that are brought to life through the direct support of others.
“Lift Off’ will also have a workout tracker and point system based upon your performance.
Users will have a unique, personalized profile with their stats, followers, rankings, video and picture uploads.
Slater said working out with others was key to helping you stay in better health.
“We sort of have this saying, ‘Those who work out amongst friends are seven times more likely to achieve their fitness goals,” he said. “The athlete working out all the time by himself might not make the same kind of gains. Camaraderie, competition, it helps keep each other motivated. If you are only relying on yourself to work out, skipping a day can be really easy. But with a virtual gym buddy it sort of keeps you on track.”
The two said they are closely involved with the area and hope to give back if the project is a success, they would like to reach out and support area athletes and health groups in the community.
Both Slater and Foote said working out was a vital part of both physical and mental health.
“There are the obvious health benefits, but for me, my number one reason why I stay active is for the stress reliever and to help keep anxiety down. It improves physical and mental health. For me it’s a prescription,” said Foote.
The ‘Lift Off’ Kickstarter Campaign started on Tuesday and ends April 21.
Donors can offer any amount do any of the following: pledge $10 and receive a Lift Off gym towel, pledge $15 and receive a Lift Off aluminum water bottle, pledge $25 and receive a Lift Off Gildan dry blend 50/50 t-shirt, pledge $50 and receive a Lift Off gym bag and phone pop socket, or pledge $100 and receive a Lift Off gym bag, pop socket, water bottle and gym towel.