Advanced Programming Features

Options for the future of Rehab Guru exercise programmes

Simon Taylor

Rehab Guru Co-Founder

As a com­pa­ny we’ve always trust­ed the opin­ion of our users, your feed­back has allowed us to move for­ward and add new fea­tures in each release of our app. The most com­mon area of user feed­back so far relates to addi­tion­al options for the pro­gram­ming of exercises.

The orig­i­nal aim for Rehab Guru was to pro­vide a sim­ple list of exer­cis­es that would replace the stick­man draw­ing. How­ev­er, our soft­ware has been embraced by a num­ber of elite sports teams, large prac­tices and pri­vate clin­ics that require more in-depth instruc­tions, com­plex para­me­ters and the abil­i­ty to pre­scribe con­cur­rent pro­grams. We believe it would be fool­ish to try and solve this prob­lem our­selves, our apps are a prod­uct of col­lab­o­ra­tion with our amaz­ing com­mu­ni­ty of ther­a­pists and exer­cise pro­fes­sion­als, this is an open invi­ta­tion to have your say in the future of Rehab Guru.

The aim of this post is to open up the sub­ject of pro­gram­ming to you and offer a forum (using the com­ments sec­tion below) for you to sug­gest solu­tions to the advanced pro­gram­ming issue. We’ll facil­i­tate the con­ver­sa­tion with our own thoughts and expe­ri­ences, how­ev­er, you’re the experts work­ing in this field day in day out, we real­ly val­ue your opin­ion. If we work as a com­mu­ni­ty, togeth­er we can pro­duce fea­tures that will tru­ly improve your work­flow and patient out­comes. We have list­ed some of our ini­tial thoughts and hope they can be used to spark some dis­cus­sion about how we move forwards.

If we work as a com­mu­ni­ty, togeth­er we can pro­duce fea­tures that will tru­ly improve your work­flow and patient outcomes

CALENDAR BASED APPROACH

One school of thought is to map an exer­cise pro­gram against a cal­en­dar, so the patient can adhere to a date based exer­cise rou­tine. This approach could pro­vide you (the ther­a­pist) an inter­face where you can apply the exer­cise col­lec­tion over a pre­de­fined date peri­od. For exam­ple; you would set a pro­gram start date and dura­tion thus pro­vid­ing you with a cal­en­dar grid to add exer­cis­es to. There is some con­cern over this method as a two week pro­gramme would have 14 indi­vid­ual box­es to fill. Whilst we would offer func­tions to ​‘apply to all days’ and ​‘add exer­cise to select­ed days’ etc there is still the wor­ry that this fine degree of con­trol could be a bur­den. Would you like this degree of con­trol and date based prescriptions?

CONCURRENT PROGRAM APPROACH

This pro­pos­al encour­ages the use of small­er col­lec­tions of exer­cis­es to be fol­lowed in iso­la­tion at dif­fer­ent times of the day or week. For exam­ple, a patient could be pre­scribed 3 sep­a­rate pro­grammes; 1 for strength, 1 for flex­i­bil­i­ty and anoth­er for sports spe­cif­ic train­ing. Our con­cern with this method is the frag­men­ta­tion of pro­grammes, two pro­grammes on alter­nate days may not be that com­plex, how­ev­er adding more pro­grammes could require an instruc­tion man­u­al so the patient knows pro­gram to fol­low and when it should be fol­lowed. This is our most com­mon request, we’d love to hear how you envis­age it working.

MACROCYCLE, MESOCYCLE MICROCYCLE (BELLS AND WHISTLES) APPROACH

We’ve been tempt­ed to swal­low the whole of Matveyev and Bompa’s research and pro­vide every con­ceiv­able option for pro­gram­ming and peri­odi­s­a­tion, how­ev­er it’s like­ly to bring with it a seri­ous increase in the com­plex­i­ty of our apps. For many users this many options and set­tings could be over­whelm­ing, we like to keep our user inter­face as sim­ple as pos­si­ble and this approach could be a lit­tle overkill, but we could be wrong, what do you think to the bells and whis­tles approach?

BLENDED APPROACH

One like­ly out­come is for us to remain flex­i­ble in our imple­men­ta­tion of each of the above meth­ods, start­ing with the most request­ed fea­ture. Fol­low­ing this, we will fol­low the ​‘pro­gres­sive enhance­ment’ method­ol­o­gy that we use with all aspects of our apps, let­ting our com­mu­ni­ty dri­ve our fea­ture development.

SUMMARY

We can cre­ate any­thing our user’s desire, how­ev­er we would like to get it right first time so your assis­tance (as always) is great­ly appre­ci­at­ed. In our mis­sion of cre­at­ing the best exer­cise pre­scrip­tion soft­ware on the mar­ket, please give as much infor­ma­tion in the com­ments sec­tion below and we’ll get work­ing on it as soon as possible.


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Simon Taylor
A former Exercise Rehabilitation Instructor (ERI) in the Royal Air Force (RAF). He went on to compete for Great Britain in Modern Pentathlon. He is now an RAF Training Officer. As the CTO he leads the engineering team at Rehab Guru.

Simon Taylor

Rehab Guru Co-Founder