Last Updated on September 26, 2023 by Michael Brockbank
Yesterday, I set a sitewide record on Exercise.com for the Machine Back Extension at 220 pounds. And although that might sound impressive, it would be even more so if Exercise.com wasn’t such a dying platform.
Ever since WeightTraining.com became Exercise.com, the site hasn’t been the same. They got rid of the social engagement aspect, pushed heavily on hiring trainers, and deleted the database a couple of years ago out of the blue.
Perhaps the biggest downfall was the social interaction. A lot of us loved the interpersonal challenges and often grouped up together for them. Once the social interaction was removed, all of the “friends” I had on the system disappeared.
It’s amazing how a company can be so clueless as to alienate the majority of its user base in the hopes of making more money. You actually see this a lot from companies on social media nowadays.
When you burn the people who made your company, intellectual property, or product a success, you’ll lose every time.
Why Setting a Sitewide Record Matters
Despite the vast majority of users abandoning the platform, Exercise.com still has a few ardent supporters such as myself. This means there are still a few people who contribute to on-site records for weightlifting and various exercises.
This provides a bit of a competitive nature to the site. Plus, I think it’s kind of fun to compare your workouts to the site average. For me, it’s motivational to see how I measure up against others who use the site and its app.
Unfortunately, I lost a great deal of competition during the transition and then the user purge. Currently, I think there are only a few hundred people who consistently use Exercise.com to record their workouts.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a useful app. I wouldn’t use it otherwise. But it just seems the owners and developers gave up after the first six months or so.
In any case, it’s kind of neat to know that I set a new sitewide record by lifting a certain number of pounds. But it’s a bit disappointing to know I don’t really have a lot of competition.
Looking to Add More Under My Belt
Every week, I try to increase the weight I lift by five pounds. This is a steady increase as I mostly focus on higher reps than total weight. Because of time constraints and planning, I aim for 300 total reps across five machines at the moment (3 sets of 20 reps each). This is after walking a mile on the treadmill at around 3.7 or 3.8 miles per hour.
So far, this strategy has been working brilliantly for losing weight, improving stamina, and improving overall strength. Not to mention that I am seeing the fruits of my labor in the mirror.
Currently, I am in the top 100 of a lot of different exercises and look forward to adding a few more “#1″s to the list. For example, I am #7 for the Machine Fly at 150 pounds. I’m also #7 for the Machine Ab Crunch at 160 pounds. Although I set my ab crunch record back in 2021, I am almost to that point once again.
That’s what happens when you take several months off from going to the gym. Muscles are essentially a use-it-or-lose component of your body.
It’s not all about weightlifting. I would love to improve on using the ab roller, air bicycle, planks, and a few other bodyweight exercises. And I am currently at #91 for the sitewide record for push-ups at 19 reps.
Don’t laugh, that’s a vast improvement.
The point is that breaking personal records is one of the things that inspires and motivates me to continue. I gamify exercise to the point of making it ultimately enjoyable.
That’s the trick to maintaining a good workout routine. No one wants to continuously perform what they believe to be a mindless, mundane activity. When you find a way to gamify workouts, you’re more likely to keep doing them.
The Lack of Proper Competition
Easily, the biggest disappointment I have with Exercise.com is the lack of proper competition and social interaction. If you know of an app that has a similar layout to Exercise.com but has that social integration, feel free to leave a comment down below. I’m always looking for new apps to try, especially if they keep track of personal records.
Anyway, there is no doubt that I am proud of my accomplishments. After all, I’m breaking my own records here, which demonstrates a commitment to better myself. But it would still be nice if there were more people to pit my workouts against for the sheer fun of it.
I’ll continue to keep working on surpassing my own abilities as it is still quite fun for me to see when I’ve broken a personal record.
Debating on Building My Own App
If I had more time, I would work on building my own app. I’m no stranger to software development and have been known to build a few programs back in the day. In fact, I had a program proprietary to my computer business. It was actually a pretty neat program that helped employees find the best prices for selling goods on eBay and how to price new products in the store.
This was in addition to the DSM-based therapy program I was building for a company to track mental health patients and their needs. That one was perhaps my most intricate program.
Anyway, creating an app nowadays is pretty much drag-and-drop. My issue is time. If I was to create an app, though, it would be a mixture of several that I use today. It would be an all-in-one platform for health and fitness.
But alas, I have books to write, blogs to build, and clients to please. Perhaps I could make it a weekend project and build it slowly but surely…
What Sitewide Record Would You Love to Break?
I am driven by a constant need for self-improvement. Whether it’s writing more books, blog posts, or smashing a sitewide record, I am always looking to find the limits of what I can handle. But that’s just me.
Not everyone is driven by the same motivations, and that’s OK. We are all different, with varying needs and wants. But if you had the choice of breaking a personal record, what would you pick and how would you go about doing so?