The global health and fitness movement has made healthy living and regular exercise an integral part of our everyday lives. Performing regular physical exercise delivers a wide range of benefits that, apart from creating a fitter, more attractive, fat-free body, also delivers a wide range of health benefits that protect the body from disease, boosting the immune system and metabolic function.
Figuring out the best way to train and keep motivated can be difficult, however, so many fitness and health enthusiasts engage the services of a professional personal trainer. Able to provide actionable and useful information as well as keeping fitness enthusiasts motivated mid-workout, personal trainers are powerful and helpful tools with one drawback- they can be extremely expensive.
The explosion of wearable tech devices has begun to offer budget-conscious fitness enthusiasts a wide range of portable, lightweight digital tech that incorporates digital AI personal trainers, offering tailored motivation and advice at a far lower cost than that of a dedicated human personal trainer. These solutions can be worn on the wrist or in the pocket, dispensing motivation through audio cues discreetly via headphones.
The DIY builder movement has decided to take the practice of digital personal trainers to another level of economy, however, and from an entirely unexpected source- Netflix. While Netflix is associated more closely with the couch potato demographic than the fitness enthusiast demographic, the media company has, in a bizarre but not unwelcome move, released a new homemade gadget that makes it possible to take inspiration and motivation from your favorite TV show characters.
The Netflix Personal Trainer is a homebrew wearable AI personal trainer that isn’t actually for sale – instead, Netflix have made detailed instructions for creating a Netflix Personal Trainer available online, which actually requires a bit of technical know-how. The Netflix Personal Trainer is part of the Netflix “Make It” initiative, which has been lurking the DIY niche of the internet since 2015 with the release of their DIY “Netflix and Chill” button.
We’re not sure if the world is ready for such a highly innovative blend of the maker movement, the fitness movement, and Netflix and chill, but in this article, we’ll take a look at the DIY Netflix Personal Trainer and find out exactly what it is to help you determine whether it’s actually worth building.
The Netflix Personal Trainer is the latest do-it-yourself makeable from the Netflix Make It initiative. Described as a personal trainer that transforms your favorite Netflix TV show characters into your own personal fitness coach, the DIY Netflix Personal Trainer is intended to provide an extra motivational push by delivering a quote from a selection of highly popular TV show characters mid-workout.
The Netflix Personal Trainer functions in a similar manner to many of the commercially available fitness wearables on the market that include digital personal training, measuring the physical output of the user to determine when they fall below a specific activity level, at which point the device plays a quote.
While the DIT Netflix Personal Trainer may sound simple, it actually requires quite a bit of technological know-how to create, with the construction process including soldering, coding, and other tech skills. If you’re already familiar with most of the tools used in the maker movement, such as open-source electronic platforms and have an established maker lab in your garage, whipping up the DIY Netflix Personal Trainer should be relatively simple.
The DIY Netflix Personal Trainer offers three different coaching styles- Tough Love, Comic Relief, and Positive Reinforcement. The Tough Love training style uses quotes from tough-as-nails TV characters such as Terry Crews in Ultimate Beastmaster, Pablo Escobar from Narcos, Jessica Jones from the Marvel TV series, Frank Underwood from House of Cards, and Red Reznikov from House of Cards.
The Comic Relief Coaching Style is intended to inject motivating humor into a workout, but may make core-intensive exercises difficult by inducing the giggles in a set of squats or crunches. The Comic Relief coaching style uses quotes from characters such as Dustin Henderson from Stranger Things, Bojack Horseman, Titus Andromedon from Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Maria Bamford from Lady Dynamite, and Stephanie Tanner from Fuller House.
The final Coaching Style, Positive Reinforcement, uses helpful and positive quotes from characters such as Kimmy Schmidt from Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Frankie Bergstein from Grace & Frankie, Kimmie Gibbler from Fuller House, Queen Elizabeth II from The Crown, and Taystee Jefferson from Orange is the New Black to motivate fitness enthusiasts during intensive workouts.
The Netflix Personal Trainer is built around the Arduino platform, which is an open source electronics platform that is commonly used in maker movement projects. After first downloading a comprehensive guide that contains everything makers need to understand before getting started, creating the DIY Netflix Personal Trainer requires several steps.
After gathering the materials, which include a custom PCB, makers must assemble the electronics themselves, customize their code, create their causing and faceplate, and then put it all together. The DIY Netflix Personal Trainer pairs with a bluetooth compatible smartphone to use the built-in accelerometer to measure movement, and then hijacks the audio stream to play a motivating message over the playlist or music of the user.
The DIY Netflix Personal Trainer, once created, uses a three-LED system to function as an activity meter. Three LED’s mean the user is working out to their goal- which can be customized- while lower LED illumination levels mean more intensive movement is required. Advanced makers are even able to install a dial that alters activity level thresholds on the fly.
Whether you’re an experienced DIY maker, or are looking for a simple, fun, and rewarding way of getting into the DIY making movement, the DIY Netflix Personal Trainer is a fun project and creates a unique and exciting device with helpful training applications, functioning as a great gift or training aid.