Trainador 2

Trainador is an app for PT’s to create fitness plans and send them to their clients. This case study examines how PT’s can create a workout routine in a snap on their mobile device.

Trainador is an app made for personal trainers to create customized fitness programs and send them to their clients.

This case study is meant to focus only on the workout routine builder.

View in App Store

Goal: Create a simple AND flexible workout builder

While doing user research, it was clear that competitors either had adequate customizability options with poor ease-of-use, or they had the opposite problem. Trainador’s value prop is that it provides the highest control AND easiest to use.


Cofounder and Designer

Started from discovery phase, prioritizing backlog, testing with users, iterating and being very budget conscious.

  1. Leadership: Managing outsourced developers
  2. Business: High level product strategy
  3. Design research: User interviews, usability testing, competitor research
  4. Design solutions: Flows, wireframes, prototypes
  5. Handoff: Ensure developers know what must be created. Clear communication essential because of a low budget


Discovery, Ideation, Test

  1. Discovery
    • User. What does our user want out of this fitness plans?
    • Industry. What are fitness plans?
    • Limitations. What technical limitations I’ll face?
  2. Ideation
    • Opportunities. Brainstorm solutions for pain points in the journey
    • Flow. Create a process flow
    • Interface. Wireframe & prototype
  3. Handoff, Release & Test
    • Handoff.Document specs for devs
    • MVP. Test MVP. Iterate



Who is the user?

Conducted one-on-one interviews in-person, over Zoom, and over text.

Zoom Interview with 25 y/o Chicago coach

✅  Beginner

Says he loves it. Not certified yet.

❌ Veteran

Does not find value in it because already she has an established method.

Finding: Our user is beginner to intermediate

Seasoned personal trainers already have clients and a process and they are not interested in new methods to run their business. Therefore, Trainador’s users are 60% BEGINNERS, 40% intermediate, and 0% veteran coaches in the industry. Also, fitness coaches have one of the highest turnover careers. Within 3 years, most of the fitness coach workforce has changed – this makes beginners extra important to target.

High-level steps in journey:


Fitness Plan Structure

ALL types of fitness programs need to be easy to build in the app, so we sought to understand the diversity and commonalities of these plans.

Finding: Standard weekly structures

There is consistency amongst ALL programs in terms of weekly structure. Here are the most common weekly structures:

  • Push/Pull
  • Push/Pull/Legs
  • Upper/Lower
  • Full Body (3 or 4 times per week)
  • Full Body (10 min every day)
  • Bro Split

SOLUTION PREVIEW*: Pre-set menu for user to select the type of day they want to build

*Note: Solutions were only explored after the problem has been more properly defined

Finding: Most of the time, only reps change week-to-week

When a user starts a new week, they’re usually repeating what was done the prior week. It is most common for weeks to only change by reps, not by exercises. When full body exercise, there is no name for day given

SOLUTION PREVIEW: Emphasize duplicate by week. Allow bulk changing of reps in a duplicated routine.

Finding: Circuits are highly variable and highly important

Supersets, circuits and HIIT programs are very common and have highly divergent user flows. All must be accommodated in the app. Types of layouts: HIIT, Circuit, Supersets, Straight Sets, Pyramid Sets.

SOLUTION PREVIEW: Routine builder must allow grouping of exercises in a multitude of ways

Diversity of exercises

It was clear users would need to be able to add exercises in the workout builder. If we would allow users to select exercises and add them to their routine, we needed to understand how the database of exercises would look like.

Finding: Exercises are interchangeable

Examples: Alternating, Single-Arm/Leg, and varying grips


  • Filters for variations in the exercise picker
    • Alternating/Single
    • Wide grip / Narrow grip
    • Incline / Decline / High Incline
    • Standing / Sitting / Lying
  • Display exercises in database more than one time if it has the same name

Same exercise, different equipment

Coaches are happy to give their clients options for the equipment to use for the same exercise.

A later finding was that typing in “barbell” and “dumbbell” on the phone is burdensome.


  • Multiple ways to select the equipment for an
  • Select exercise before added
  • Select exercise after one is added that has a different piece of equipment


What’s different about how our users build fitness plans?

Although many people can build fitness plans, we did research on how specifically personal trainers go about this process.

We discovered several unique ways personal trainers create plans:

  1. Reuse plans frequently:
    • Coaches generally assign the same exact workout program to all of their clients.
    • After assigning a pre-made workout program, they will then do small modifications based on injuries and goals.
  2. Follow-along videos
    • Another finding was that it’s extremely common for personal trainers to have already created online follow-along workout programs.
    • They seek a way to present those follow-along workout videos in a structured way.
  3. Circuits & supersets:
    • Personal trainers prefer to make their routines dynamic so that their client has more fun.
    • Circuits and supersets can add extreme complexity to a routine… so their preference for this is particularly notable for the design process.
  4. Specialties:
    • Most trainers have a specific focus or brand. For example, one may specialize in athletes, another specializes in breathwork, another specializes in senior citizens, etc.
    • Frequently, this means there may be unique, obscure exercises that they want to put in the program.
    • Or it may mean that they have a unique way of explaining the same exercise (e.g. emphasizing breathing in a movement).

Detailed user journey

Laid out the full journey of the user and included all aspects of how a fitness plan is created. We also explored the opportunities in the touch points.


Trainador’s exercise library

There will be approximately 5,000 exercises in the database ultimately. It is controlled by a janky admin panel.

The created dashboard helped reveal many issues about the exercise database. First, we do not have not have enough data to know which exercises are the most popular amongst our potential users – this means sorting exercises appropriately may be difficult. We don’t have enough data to sort by popularity. Second, we can’t manually add all possible exercises in our admin panel because they’re seemingly unending.



Process flow

Created a process flow before wireframing.



After creating the process flow, we were able to start sketching and paper prototyping.

Whiteboarding wireflows

High-fidelity wireflows

Task: Adding an exercise with quick filter

Step 1. User thinks about “muscle” before which specific exercise.

Step 2. Then top used exercises for that muscle are shown.

Step 3. Review saved exercises.

Task: Selecting program from library

Step 1. User doesnt want to spend time creating a program from scratch

Step 2. User selects exercise on. the WEEK level

Task: Selecting sets, reps, weight, more

Step 1. Giving an adequate hint that reps, sets needs to be selected

Step 2. Automatically starting out with 3 sets

Step 3. The chosen reps and sets change for ALL the exercises automatically

Wireflow overview

Representing the flow in wireframes below

Handoff & test


Put all details in Jira

There will be approximately 5,000 exercises in the database ultimately. We created a dashboard to manage the exercises.

Example of ticket: User story, DOD, Attachment, Link to Zeplin, Story points, etc.
Managed jira board


Remote usability tests

“I want to rearrange exercises.

Where can I do that?”

After paper and Sketch prototypes, we prototyped with Beta app over Zoom


KPI’s & A/B testing

Utilized Firebase for A/B testing and studying activity

Largest drop-off was when users were *search exercises* screen. This meant we needed to follow up with qualitative research to find the issue. With this information, we can design & iterate


Overall, through quantitative and qualitative data, we confirmed a high NPS and task completion in creating a routine. However, there are large flows in the creation of circuits and a need for more exercises in the database. This will be the next steps in the design and development process.


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