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Workout Buddies: the app that helps you find the perfect workout partner



The University of Oregon’s Student Recreation Center has gone through a large-scale renovation this year and is welcoming students to come in and keep up with their New Year’s resolution to work out more.

Paola Flores is a psychology student at the UO and goes to the rec center four times a week.

“I used to just run the treadmill every single day when I went to they gym or I would jog all the time—but that got really boring and my body got used to it,” said Flores.

With new workout equipment, there’s also more room to expand your exercise limits. But trying new equipment and getting the right help can be the most challenging part of picking up a new routine.

Mike De La Vergne and Katie Juth had a similar problem when they were attending school here at the UO.

“We had each other to go to the gym with, she likes doing cardio and if I wanted to lift, she can’t exactly spot me,” said De La Vergne.

Surprisingly enough, there were no tools that could help them find people who had similar goals and interests when it came to being fit.

After two long years of product development, the app Workout Buddies was born.

The app allows anyone looking for help getting motivated to stay on track and attain their goals.

De La Vergne began his time at the UO studying Business and doing design work. A native Eugenean, he had a strong love for the culture of fitness and exercise.

This same love for the culture in Eugene created a strong student international relationship, bringing in students from all over the world. Workout Buddies has taken this theme and developed the International Student Fitness Organization, that students from other countries can find and build relationships through fitness and exercise.

“Fitness is kind of like music; it’s an international language that people can relate to,” said De La Vergne.

The concept of the app brings social media into a different view. You can find people who have similar body features like weight, interests in activities like weightlifting and goals like getting more toned.

The most important feature of the app is the integration of safety. This becomes important for those who might not feel safe running at night or working out alone.

“Unlike any social media app, you have to send a friend request before you can message them. That’s a safety factor for any college girl…” said De La Vergne.

With the inconsistencies that exist in a student’s schedule, finding the right time to run and go to the gym is a huge obstacle for those who can’t do it during the day. The features of the app lets students befriend someone with the same problem so they can help each other out.

Studies from Kansas State University show that exercising with a buddy or within a group pushes individuals to work harder.

Brandon Irwin, assistant professor of kinesiology, tested 115 participants doing various exercises. While the test was done using a “virtual partner” through a fitness video, the participants were able to exercise 90 percent longer than by themselves.

After being put into a group and having the participants workout together, that percentage jumped to 160 percent compared to individually.

The couple is continuing to integrate more features into the app that will help make fitness easier to access. They found their success here at the UO and hope to keep the efforts and development growth right here in Eugene.

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Justin Hun

Justin Hun