My starting point for my research was to find a problematic subject and try to come up with a design solution for it. Before going outwards, I looked inwards to my self. My often frustration with executing gym exercises (weight lifting) with proper technique while minimizing the risk of injury surfaced. As I am relatively new to the gym culture, I thought that a possible design solution to this problem will not only benefit other people who face the same frustrations, but also myself. So I was found in a very optimistic position, because I could use myself as the target user, among others, to begin researching about this design solution. My first aim of research was to understand the bio mechanics of weight lifting.
How the muscle works ( in weight lifting)
When we are performing a movement that requires our muscles to contract and stretch, as we expose them to stress, they experience microscopic damage. The injured cells release inflammatory molecules called cytokines, that activate the immune system to repair the injury. This is when the muscle-building happens. The bigger the damage to the muscle tissue, the more the body will need to repair itself. The cycle of damage and repair, eventually makes the muscles bigger and stronger, as they adapt to progressively greater demands.
Paying attention to our form in strength training, meaning joint alignment, range of motion and tension are extremely important to achieve the desired strength and muscle hypertrophy goals, while avoiding any potential injury.
Regardless of what is the goal of exercise, proper form and technique is key to progressing in weight lifting, otherwise increasing intensity of a workout while losing proper form can lead to injury and lessen the effect on the targeted muscle.
Create a wearable device that monitors and corrects all the parameters of weight lifting in real time as the exercises are executed. A possible wearable that monitors the relative position of joints and posture of the body while executing an exercise and communicating with vibrations to adjust the posture/form of the exercise.
Analyzing gym trainees.
The main types of people who do weight lifting are:
People who train without any education on form and proper execution.
People who train on their own but research about techniques and form.
People who train using an online coach and have more access to educational content and supervision
People who train assisted by a personal trainer and have direct supervision over execution form.
People who have assistance of a personal trainer while they perform their lifting routine, do not apply as potential users of such device.