Peers, PRs, and the People Quotient: A New App to Track Your Progress
Today, Breaking Muscle is launching its PR (Personal Record) Tracker app for iOS and Android. First, we'd like to tell you what the app does, then why we decided to make it.
We hope everyone in our community finds it as fun and interesting as we do and wants to add their PRs to the data pool.
PR Tracker Basics
Here are the highlights of the Breaking Muscle PR Tracker app:
- It's completely free and simple to register.
- You can remain relatively anonymous to the outside world. We are not trying to build a ladder or competitive tables.
- Please be honest in entering your age, height and weight, and all other data.
- PR Tracker allows you to track over 100 fitness benchmarks.
- Compare your stats with other PR Tracker users in general or by age and BMI.
We know, BMI is bunk science - for predicting individual health outcomes. We couldn't agree more. BMI was chosen for the simple reason that it is a good large-group comparative stat (which is what it was originally designed to do). Sure, we could use weight classes, but they tend to be relevant in some exercises and make less sense in others.
"Our goal has always been, and will always be, to deliver interesting, useful content that you can use to live a healthier, more enjoyable life. The PR Tracker is a direct result of that goal."
For example, there are weight classes in Olympic lifting but there are no weight classes in running. We know that two runners, alike in every way except body mass - height, age, experience, etc. - would have different performance stats if one weighs sixty pounds more than the other. It could be the person that is sixty pounds heavier is a boxer and the lighter person is an endurance athlete. Whatever the differences, we feel breaking down performance by BMI can be a helpful tool.
Another great example is strict pull ups. The higher-BMI athlete is going to have a different ultimate max than the lower-BMI athlete. A ten pull up PR with a BMI of 27 is just as impressive as a thirty pull up PR for someone with a BMI of twenty.
We All Need Community Support
Your personal record (PR) is, by definition, highly individual. It is a testament to your hard work and achievements. However, everyone likes to know where they stand. There is always that need to compare yourself to others, to understand how you're doing in a wider context than who you were yesterday or last year.
If you've ever tried to out-rep the person next to you, tried to outlast your friends in a metcon, or tried to lift as much as anyone else, then you know what we're talking about. We get it, and the free PR Tracker app was created to place your performance in context.
What Will Breaking Muscle Do With My Data?
Our goal has always been, and will always be, to deliver interesting, useful content that you can use to live a healthier, more enjoyable life. The PR Tracker is a direct result of that goal. Understanding you, our reader, is key to delivering the valuable content you want.
- Build peer performance charts that will be a realistic reflection of our community's performance by age and body size. We think it would be great to know how your barbell snatch max compares to everyone else's, but more useful to see how you do among your immediate peers.
- Identify the benchmarks that mean the most to you so that we can focus on helping you improve on those specific achievements. As we go along we will add more benchmarks to the app based on your feedback.
- We like data. And, we believe you like data, too. The more you contribute, the more information we all have on athletic performance across a wide swath of disciplines by gender, age, and body metrics.
Tell the World What You Can Do
And that's why we hope you will download PR Tracker, share your stats, and help us all figure out where we excel and where we can still make progress.