As a former college baseball player, David Stanton understands all too well the inconveniences of a crowded gym.
“I always got frustrated when I would show up and it would always be so packed,” he said.
Stanton graduated last year from Colby College, and was surprised to find out that his friends at larger schools had similar problems. He decided to begin developing an app that would allow college students to check how busy their gyms were at any given time.
“I just kind of figured there had to be a better way to figure this out beyond just paying for a giant new gym,” Stanton said.
The coding and framework of the application was initially outlined by Stanton himself toward the end of 2014, but he needed a full team to start his new venture. He brought on his friend from high school, Joe Rockland, to run the marketing and sales aspects of the business. Stanton also hired some developers to help get the app up and running before launching in January of this year.
The idea of GymSnap was first released to the public at the Massachusetts Association for Recreational Sports (MARS) workshop at Salem State University at the end of June to an audience of many different local colleges and organizations.
Most colleges and universities—including Boston College—take facility counts to determine the level of occupancy in different areas. GymSnap allows recreational employees to input data directly into a program in certain time increments to allow students to check the traffic of the gym.
“You can see how busy the weight room is as well, as other facilities such as basketball courts, pool, track, etc.,” Stanton said.
GymSnap is designed for students to schedule their gym trips in the most efficient manner possible. But Stanton argues the app also benefits the employees who run the recreational facilities. GymSnap would give them statistics of equipment usage of the gym at different times to better schedule cleaning, maintenance, and special events for students.
“The biggest challenge is we kind of have a unique product in the sense that half of it is targeted toward college students and half is targeted to recreation professionals,” Stanton said.
The app has a feature that notifies students with reminders about gym hours with respect to a university’s calendar, as well as direct messages about any maintenance or equipment issues that might hinder potential gym-goers. GymSnap also has a blog that covers topics related to fitness, with posts like “Effects of Alcohol,” and “Be Fit and Lift Ladies.”
GymSnap will be made available to students at its first school in a few weeks. The app could be coming to BC’s Flynn Recreation Complex in the near future, as Stanton explained that he would like to collaborate with the University.
Although the app is just in its first year, the GymSnap team is currently in preliminary discussions with a few other local schools and has big plans for the future. Stanton eventually wants to bring GymSnap to campuses across the country.
“I know it’s something I would have liked in school,” he said.
Featured Image by Francisco Ruela / Heights Graphic