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Vitogo: A personal trainer in your pocket

January 26, 2012

We recently spoke with Arel English (@arelenglish), CEO and co-founder of Vitogo (@myvitogo), about their integration with the Health Graph (@healthgraphapi) and how being a Health Graph partner is benefiting their business. Read on to learn about how Vitogo recreates what a personal trainer does for you using your iOS device and the web.

Bill Day: Please tell us about yourself and your company.

Arel English: Fitness has always been a really important part of my life and is something I struggled with as a kid. In college, first as an athlete and later as a coach, I learned the importance of strength training for health and fitness and achieving meaningful results. The problem is that strength training is really complicated and intimidating, so we created Vitogo to make strength training easy and fun.

BD: What is the “elevator pitch” for why someone should use your app?

AE: Strength training is a really important part of a healthy lifestyle. Not only does it help you look better, it’s also an important part of weight loss, reducing your risk of injury, and increasing bone density. The problem is knowing how to strength train effectively. Vitogo makes it simple. Just like a personal trainer, Vitogo assesses your fitness level and goals to give you a tailored workout program that evolves with you. It coaches you through every step of your workout, tracks your progress, and keeps you motivated with the support of your friends, other users, and rewards.

BD: How did you get started using the Health Graph API?

AE: As an avid RunKeeper user before the idea for Vitogo even existed, I used to complain that my strength training workouts didn’t count toward anything on my RunKeeper account, so when we decided to build Vitogo, the first thing we wanted to do was look into how we could have our workouts post to RunKeeper so we could get credit for all our hard work. At the time, the Health Graph API hadn’t been announced, so we were pretty excited to learn about it when we first reached out to RunKeeper about the possibility of integrating Vitogo.

BD: How is using the Health Graph benefiting your business?

AE: The Health Graph is a great way to aggregate everything active we’re doing online. Just like how Facebook made it easy for new services to seamlessly share information socially across the web, the Health Graph has made it really easy to seamlessly share healthy activity. Sharing healthy activity and being able to aggregate it and see the big picture makes Vitogo that much better a product, and is something we are really excited about!

BD: Which portions of the Health Graph API do you use, and why?

AE: Right now we’re just publishing to the Fitness Feed and pulling Vitogo users’ RunKeeper activities. We want to quickly expand to sending calories burned and strength training statistics to the Health Graph so our users can get a more integrated experience.

BD: What do you like about the Health Graph? What would you like to see changed?

AE: Being able to fully integrate Vitogo, a heart rate monitor, a swimming tracker, and tons of other stuff that I use to track my activities is hugely powerful, that’s what I love about the Health Graph. I’m looking forward to being able to see exactly what each service is going to publish to RunKeeper, and pull from RunKeeper, so I know for example if Vitogo is going to update my total number of calories burned, and number of activities done that month.

BD: If you could request any new feature from the Health Graph, what would it be? How would you use it?

AE: Having the ability to control how individual apps post to the fitness feed would be an awesome extension of the Health Graph. We would like Vitogo to be able to post simple stories about a user’s strength training workout with the same type of control you have when deciding how your app posts to Facebook or Twitter.

BD: Can you share any future plans for your app? What’s coming next that your users will be excited about? Does the Health Graph play a role in that, and if so, how?

AE: We are really excited about getting users using Vitogo and giving us feedback on what they love, and what we can do better. We want to make sure that everyone using Vitogo feels confident and in control at the gym. We’re also going to continue to improve our Health Graph integration so our users get the best total picture of their fitness.

BD: Is there anything else we should know about you or your application?

AE: Vitogo is an iPhone/ iPod Touch app and a website! Using is as much a part of the experience as using the app!

Cross-posted from the Health Graph blog.


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