Meet the co-founder of BodBot, one of the most popular fitness apps on Windows Phone, and discover why fitness is a personal passion for this former Windows Phone engineer.
Sergio Prado wasn’t always a fitness guru.
The developer and designer (who worked as an engineer on Windows Phone 7 following his graduation from Harvard University in 2009) was a skinny, six foot-tall high-school student.
“When I was in high school, I [weighed] 120 pounds,” Sergio recounted. “I’m at 180 now. I ended up doing a lot of work to gain 60 pounds of muscle.”
“On the other end, my co-founder Eddie [Edward Laux] was obese in high school and ended up losing 70-odd pounds of fat. So, first and foremost, our interest in fitness is personal.”
That personal interest led the duo to create the free app BodBot, a personal trainer, nutritionist, and strength coach that tailors exercise routines and recommendations based on your goals, schedule, equipment, and physical capabilities.
The road to fitness
Sergio told us that their personal experiences drove home the point that fitness apps need to provide tailored recommendations to help people achieve effective and efficient results.
“You have a lot of fitness services or programs that are ultimately just static plans that don’t adapt and aren’t at all tailored to the person. They’re based on the assumption that every single person on the planet is identical – which obviously, is insane.”
So, unlike most fitness apps, BodBot takes into account your physical attributes such as flexibility, injuries, age, and personal preferences when making training recommendations.
When asked about the challenges in creating BodBot, Sergio said that the biggest challenge was communicating BodBot’s intentions to the user.
“Each individual has a pre-existing thought about what’s the right way to go about [achieving their fitness goals], and that’s sometimes true, but not always,” he said.
In short, the challenge is to explain, based on hard science, why a change in routine can be good.
The Windows Phone difference
Sergio used to work as a Windows Phone engineer before he developed BodBot. He’s quite impressed by the current Windows Phone 8.1 platform and hopes to integrate BodBot with Microsoft Band in the future.
In particular, he points to Live Tile support as one of the best reasons to use BodBot on Windows Phone.
“Live Tiles are a huge feature for what we’re trying to do. When it comes to making sure people keep up with exercise, you need to continually harass them,” he said with a laugh.
“Live Tiles really let you do that; if you chose to put [BodBot] on your start screen, you know you have a workout today.”
Sergio works out every day so BodBot saves him “many, many hours” in planning his own workout routine manually. That’s because the app adapts to daily factors like time constraints and injuries.
For new BodBot users, Sergio’s biggest piece of advice is that you take the app’s various fitness tests when configuring your profile.
“[The fitness tests’ results] will really change the kinds of recommendations that we provide you. For example, if you have exceptionally tight hamstrings, we won’t recommend certain exercises to you. We’ll recommend other exercises to you to alleviate those tight hamstrings.”
“These sorts of very specific recommendations are one of the things that sets BodBot apart from the other services out there.”
Bodbot was just featured as one of Windows Central’s Hidden Gems–a group of awesome Windows Phone apps that deserve time in the spotlight. They are also running an exclusive promo for Windows Phone users–be sure to check out the details here.
If you use BodBot, how has it jumpstarted your workout routine? Tell us about your experiences in the comments below.