The friendship of Kenneth Whyel and Adomas Povilianskas formed in high school, endured through their enlistment in the Marine Corps, and is now flourishing at Penn State Fayette, The Eberly Campus, where the vets have joined forces to create an award-winning personal training application.
Their FitRep app, which is Web-based and works on any device with an internet browser, organizes and monitors statistics during a workout. Whyel and Povilianskas won the 2015 Penn State Fayette Scholastic Excellence Award for their design of FitRep, whose name actually has a military connotation. A fitness report, also known as a “fit rep,” is a permanent written record of an officer’s qualifications and performance, and is used to determine future assignments and advancement in rank.
The motivation for FitRep, however, came not from the battlefield but from the gymnasium. Both Whyel and Povilianskas are amateur bodybuilders, and they designed the app in part to help them keep track of their exercise regimen. “I see a lot of people in the gym who carry around notebooks and write down exactly what they do and they date it,” said Whyel, who was a notebook user himself.
“But,” noted Poviliananskas, “you can always lose a piece of paper, spill coffee on it, throw it away, forget where it is. With a Web-based application, just sign in and your information is there all the time.”
He explained how users can input just a few bits of information, including their weight and the number of repetitions for each exercise, and FitRep will present their workout data in graphs and numbers so people can see exactly how they are exercising. The app also keeps track of rest time, set time, total gym time, and time actually spent exercising.
According to Povilianskas, this is not the duo’s first collaboration on software. He and Whyel actually designed computer games in high school. They began working on FitRep in Fall 2014, when both were enrolled in Comp Sci 121. “We just wanted to supplement this computer science class with a little bit more hands-on experience,” he said.
Whyel estimated that the design process has taken more than a thousand hours using Skype and screen-sharing programs and said it required knowledge of programming, as well as coding in HTML, PHP, CCS3, and Java. From these different frameworks, he said, they just “put the puzzle pieces together.”
“The app can give you your averages and your weight, depending on muscle group and the time of day,” noted Povilianskas, a third-year mechanical engineering student. “There are all kinds of math like that throughout the application. We can pull information in different ways and then compare it and make conclusions, just like a regular personal trainer would,” he said.
Civil engineering major Whyel, also in his third year, said they are currently adding a nutrition element to the personal trainer feature to tell users exactly what kinds of food to eat, the correct portions, and when to eat them. He said, “We want to have a directory of certified personal trainers who can use the app sort of like Facebook.”
Whyel said they also have plans for marketing FitRep to gyms as well as adding voice-entry functionality.
“What we are trying to do,” said Povilianskas, “is to bring the old technology -- pen and paper, an Excel spreadsheet -- into this new digital age.”
To use the free MyFit app, visit myfitrep.com.