PeerFit Comes to SMU

As a fitness instructor it is important to keep track of the different routines you are teaching your students.

Ed Bunkley, a PhD student at the University of Florida and fitness instructor, grew tired of writing down his workout routines everyday on a piece of paper. He eventually began putting them in his iPhone so that he could reuse different workouts in later classes.

One day he began to write the exercise routine he would be teaching in his class on a dry erase board for students to see as well. When he asked students after class why they had attended he said many of them responded that they had seen the workout on the white board.

“People were much more motivated to try group fitness and go to classes if they could see the workout,” Bunkley said.

Bunkley began thinking of different ways fitness instructors could remember their routines, as well as inform students what they would learn in class, and came up with a program called PeerFit.

PeerFit is an online program where fitness instructors can put detailed information up online describing the different workout classes they are teaching. Students, and other instructors, can go online and read through the different classes to see which one they want to attend. It gives both parties a place to go to communicate and receive information quickly and efficiently.

Over the summer Bunkley had 44 universities test PeerFit and launched the program at 18 of them this fall.
SMU is one of the universities that launched the PeerFit program.

Kelly Richards, the fitness coordinator at Dedman Recreation Center, said that Bunkley reached out to her to see if she would be interested in using his application at SMU.

“I just think that when we have the opportunity to advance the fitness fields that are going to make working out, or the choices we have, easier on people it is really important to promote it,” Richards said.

Right now it is just being used by the fitness instructors in order for them to get use to the new program.

“At this point it is not mandatory but I am encouraging them to try it,” Richards said.

She believes that it is a great tool for people to use in order to see what they can expect out of a specific Group X class.

SMU offers approximately 50 to 60 different exercise classes and to have a program that will show students exactly what they are getting themselves into could be extremely beneficial.

The Group X instructors have been using the program for two months now and are starting to get accustomed to the new program.

“The program is really innovative! It is a way for the fitness professionals to share our routines and exercises,” Whitney Reichlin, a Group X instructor, said.

Reichlin also sees the program as being a great way for instructors to compare workouts with instructors from other universities.

“This is a way for us to keep things fresh and exciting,” Reichlin said, “We strive for the most innovative and intriguing workouts for our guests.”

Jed Pajela, a senior at SMU, says he thinks the new program would be really beneficial to students.
Although Pajela has yet to try the Group X classes, having a place to check out what some of the different routines are sounds like a good idea to him.

“I go online and stuff to look up workouts, it would be really cool,” Pajela said.

The application is only accessible online, but the company plans to expand and create an app for mobile phones.

Bunkley says that their making fitness mobile campaign will allow students and instructors to look up the class schedule and information on their phones instead of having to use a computer.

“I’m just a huge efficiency person, when I see something that could be improved I just take action,” Bunkley said.

Every time he brought up the idea of PeerFit to a gym they loved the idea and the way it could keep everyone connected.

PeerFit is free to use and will be changing a lot over the fall semester as the company sees what works and what needs to be improved.


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