So what is ShapeLog?
ShapeLog is a new kind of fitness tracker. We retrofit your gym with patented sensors, automatically track your strength training workouts, and teach you how to do better. We use high-resolution data to help normal people work out smarter with coaching and evidence-based programming.
We’re not another wearable device
You don’t have to wear or carry any gadget. We make patented devices that can be used to retrofit any piece of equipment. From any manufacturer, old or new. Devices can be installed and calibrated in under a minute, and they stay on the equipment, allowing the user to move around without doing anything different.
We collect 1,000,000 data points for every workout
It all flows wirelessly into the cloud. When we talk about the 1M data points, most people say, “Who cares?!? These days you can put a bunch of sensors on anything.” Well, it turns out we can do some really cool stuff with that data. Here are some examples:
- After a single workout, we can tell who you are and what exercise you’re doing based solely on how you work out. It’s like a fingerprint.
- We can tell how easy or hard an exercise is for you and recommend the perfect weight settings for each exercise.
- We can compare you to everybody else who’s ever done a ShapeLog workout to let you know where you stand and how to get better. So like a GPS system, we can show you step-by-step how to get stronger and healthier.
- Most people don’t actually want to see any of the data. They just want somebody to tell them what to do – just like a trainer does. We can do that too. The data lets us to design the perfect workout for you based on your goals and any limitations you might have.
So when I say we are going to become your personal trainer – I mean we’re going to be the best trainer you’ve ever had. Sort of like how computers don’t just play chess – they’re better at chess than any human is.
Wait – artificial intelligence – really?
Yes, we’re really using machine learning. Our unique data set is perfect for it.
What’s a ‘strength tracker’?
Strength training – lifting weights – is the second most popular form of exercise, right behind walking. We track strength training, just like Fitbit tracks steps. There are dozens of step counters, but no good strength tracker because it’s really hard to do.
What’s so unique about ShapeLog’s technology?
- We pull 180 data points per second. That high-resolution data allows us to do easy stuff – like tell you weight and reps for all of your workouts – and also some really hard stuff – like recommend the best weight for each exercise and help you improve your form so you don’t get hurt.
- It’s not a wearable. Wearables are prone to fashion trends and puts the onus on the user. Our platform captures the most interesting data with the least amount of friction.
Strength training is the second most popular form of exercise – and it’s growing fast because of the research on how it helps bone density and contributes to overall wellness. So we’re not building a tool for a few meatheads – we think everyone wants to be strong and a tool like ours can provide useful context and guidance to beginners and more serious folks. Whether you’re sick or healthy, everybody stands to benefit from keeping good health records and getting regular feedback from their doctor.
Do Users Like ShapeLog?
Overwhelmingly. Our pilot classes are full and the average participant has gotten 98% stronger over a ten-week program. We wrote about this in a case study that you can download here. Users particularly like two things about ShapeLog: 1) there’s no gadget to buy or carry, so it just works every time, and 2) The high resolution data makes personalized coaching possible – so we can tell you real things about yourself and make real suggestions for how to improve your performance.
How do the strength trackers work?
We have a proprietary method for measuring the tension created when you lift weights. That tension data provides a high-resolution view of the work you’re doing. Just like MRI or ultrasound is more interesting than an x-ray.
Can I buy one?
No. Take a ShapeLog class and you’ll get all of the benefits without having to buy the device. The world doesn’t need another gadget – that’s why we sell the devices to gyms and researchers because they’re in the business of helping you get stronger. ShapeLog partners with fitness equipment manufacturers to make these unique fitness experiences available to users at home and in the gym.
What sort of workouts and events do you do?
We do small group training classes at gyms. These are inspired by bootcamps, spinning classes, and other group fitness experiences. ShapeLog’s small group classes are usually 30-60 minutes with no more than ten in any class. They are focused on building strength, but are a great total body workout.
We’re a platform for data-driven personal training too.
Occasionally we do big events that are like the NFL combine. Lots of people doing a defined workout and getting their results. People of all abilities come to challenge themselves and have fun with friends.
ShapeLog events are different (better, we think) than other fitness experiences because you learn something about yourself and walk away with tangible metrics to guide what you do next. Science, numbers, and accountability are game changers.
What sort of coaching do you do?
Personalized workout plans, automated tracking, accountability, and motivation. Research shows that your training should mimic the activity you’re training to improve. Most athletes and people who want to be strong for everyday challenges are probably trying to maximize instantaneous power (so you’re explosive), and total work (a combination of explosiveness and endurance). If your goal is to maximize explosiveness and endurance, than training at your own personal intersection of those things is the most effective weight at which to train. By measuring instantaneous power (explosiveness) and total work over time, we know exactly where those two things are maximized, and can recommend accordingly.
This is complicated stuff for most people to wrap their heads around. For most people, they just want to know what to do – so that’s how we’re running classes and building tools. For the geeks out there who want to understand what’s happening under the hood, we’ve got a series of white papers and case studies coming soon.
How can I help ShapeLog and learn more about where you’re going?
Start by taking a group strength class – that experience is worth a thousand words. We’re always looking to connect with people. Gym owners, coaches, technologists, people excited about working out – anybody who might be excited about what we’re doing.
What about (insert company here) – are they a competitor?
It’s way too early for that. We don’t always know what other companies are doing, but it’s a good sign if they’re trying to help people understand themselves and their health. Consumers will see the most value if all of the companies collecting data can work together and provide people with a complete view of what’s going on. We’re committed to data portability and think there’s a lot of room for different companies to provide parts of a broader solution.
What about free weights?
Yeah, we’ll get there really soon, and won’t stop with strength training. We’re already layering heart rate data and cardio performance data over the strength data. Our sensors and data infrastructure are designed to cover 100% of the gym. Our first two hardware products were chosen because because they cover the widest range of exercises, but free weights and functional workouts are easy additions. Product development timelines depend on how fast we can grow, and we plan to open up our sensors and data infrastructure to other device manufacturers, too. Our value to the consumer continues to grow as we become more nimble the data and programming – we see an opportunity to be a thoughtful leader in how all this data is managed and what’s done with it.
Who are you guys – what’s your story?
We all have been successful in other industries: Nolan is a product designer, Jesse has been doing IoT for ten years, Vic wrote the best selling exercise physiology text book of all-time, and Brian started and ran a successful technology company. Nolan built the first devices in his basement and we took them to the Consumer Electronics Show to see if anybody thought they could solve a real problem. The response was unanimous and overwhelming – we decided to start the company and go ‘all in’ on the flight home.
Are you trying to put personal trainers out of business?
We’re even more excited about the 51.5 million people going to the gym with no personal trainer and no real plan. Providing an affordable on-ramp to the benefits of personal training is how we’ll make the biggest impact.
It’s a lot like the power meter cyclists use. We’re pulling 180 data points per second while you’re working out – too much to watch or care about. You already know how much weight you’re lifting, and you can count the reps – we capture all of that information automatically – but the new data that everyone loves are ‘watts’ and ‘watt-hours’:
- Watts are a measure of instantaneous power. We show you how much power you’re generating with every rep. Serious cyclists love watts – they have been measuring and training to increase watts for decades.
- Watt-hours are even more interesting. They are a measure of total work. Similar to tracking your steps…every time you lift something you get credit for watt-hours. They add up over the course of your workout. They are a good way to compare a workout against other workouts – maximizing total watt-hours means you did more work. And that’s what translates into results.
What’s Next for ShapeLog?
We’re introducing a new dataset to the fitness community, and working with important partners to establish a standard for strength training performance. By standardizing the conversation, we can make strength training less intimidating.
Everybody wants to know where they stand. Preferences about how/when/where we find out and have that information presented varies a lot – some people want to compete, and others don’t – but we all want to know. And if we can cut up and compare your numbers in a way that engages you, you’ll enjoy strength training. You’ll do it more. You’ll be stronger. You’ll feel better, perform better, look better, and live better.
Look for ShapeLog to power your next fitness purchase or experience.