How Data Science can Revolutionize the Fitness Industry

An industry ripe for disruption.

Artificial Intelligence this, Machine Learning that, Neural Net there. At this point, these real advances in software have been reduced to buzz words. Despite all of the hype, the functionality behind them is ground breaking, and it will change life as we know it. Just as long as people explore new industries with these new tools paving the way.

One such industry, that I believe needs to be “updated”, is the fitness industry. Here’s why.

The Pareto Principle

The Pareto Principle is an old economic principle that stated that 80% of the land in Italy was owned by 20% of the populous. An obvious imbalance of distribution. Over time this idea was further explored, and it was found that land was not all it related to. Wealth (the 1%), work, pollution and hundreds of others, have all been found to adhere to the idea of a significant imbalance of distribution.

This is especially useful in maximising productivity. If you can determine whats the most efficient and effective person/thing/product, and cut out everything thats costing you money whilst not providing enough value, you can achieve 80% of the work, with only 20% of the input.


In the gym we strive for efficiency. What’s the best way to build the most muscle?, lose the most fat?, ect. However, typically when someone goes to find a workout program, they’ll search up what they want to look like, click on Men’s Health or, and choose one of their premium, set-standard programs.

This is foolish for two reasons:

  1. It works under the assumption that everyones’ body works the same way. And that there is a magical “one size fits all” workout program, guaranteed to get you shredded, no questions asked. This is just frankly not true. If it were, everyone would be exactly the same. And we’re not, humans are snowflakes, we’re different, conflicting, unique — and that’s what makes the human race so incredibly dominant.
  2. It doesn’t change. When someone works out, their body grows and develops. In unpredictable ways, in such that other exercises may need to be introduced to focus on under developed muscles, ect.

It’s inefficient, ignorant and not practical.

At all.

Don’t do it.

No wonder millions of people just “have” gym memberships, and have only gone twice, only to be discouraged by the sheer lack of results (obviously it takes longer than two gym sessions to see results — just a joke). However, that’s not to say that they couldn’t see results sooner if a personalised, adaptable, pareto principled workout routine is provided.

The Opportunity

We have data. Loads of data. We are constantly collecting data. We wear watches on our wrist that constantly monitor our heartbeat. We have scales that can predict BMI, and mobile devices that detect Bloody Toxicity levels. If we combine our personal health data, with a close monitoring of our gym sessions (recording max reps, muscle constraint, ect), we’ll be able to develop a program, powered by machine learning. Drawing parallels between conditions, exercises, heart rate, hell even the weather, in order to provide a workout routine that changes exercise by exercise, rather than month by month.

Putting in 20% of the effort to achieve 80% of the results, or rather, 100% of the effort with 400% the results. A subscription based model would make a killing.

Just an idea. Thanks for reading!

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Thanks !

Thanks for sharing this, you are awesome !

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