Fitness app for the US Marines

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From November 2019. Wondering, How is it going?

The Marine Corps launched the first phase of a new web-based fitness app that aims to help Marines schedule and monitor workouts to ensure a balanced fitness plan is followed and to help prevent injuries.

According to the Marine Times, the Force Fitness application has a workout of the day program with videos that Marines can follow for a quick daily exercise, and a planner for units to map out physical training.

The app is still evolving. Later iterations will allow Marines to upload biometric data and information from individual workouts.

The app’s main feature at present gives the Corps’ Force Fitness instructors, known as FFIs, access to a planner where they can create their unit’s training schedule and share it with all the Marines who use the program.

Col. Stephen Armes, the director of the Force Fitness Division, told the Marine Times that it was necessary to create an app from the ground up, as there wasn’t anything on the market that had everything the Marines needed in a piece of software.

“The force fitness instructors were doing their programs and their programs are pretty in depth,” Armes added. “They were doing all this on whatever program they could find, sometimes it was spreadsheets, all this has been digitized now for the FFI.”

Armes said the “checks and balances” built into the program is what separates ForceFit from civilian fitness apps.

“On the civilian side they don’t have those stopgaps, you can load in there I want you to do 1,000 jumping jacks every day and there is nothing that stops the system from telling you, hey this isn’t right," Armes said. “Our system throws those red flags up saying, ‘Are you sure you want to do this?’”

Marines are also prompted to report how they feel after each workout, which allows the FFIs a better idea of how their unit is doing.

“The unit commander, unit leadership, FFI can start tracking what are the trends we’re seeing, because Marines self report, ‘I’m feeling fatigued today, I got this injury, something feels off,’”and use those trends to prevent injuries and improve fitness, Armes said. 

While the app currently relies on self-reporting for these trends, Armes said that future versions will be able to track biometric data, which can be synced from wearable technology like smart watches. That will give FFIs even more data to check on the fitness and health of the Marines.

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