Introducing the BLOC App
We’re on the verge of an exciting new direction for Barbell Logic! Since our company launched in 2016, we have been at the mercy of 3rd party software. Some of you may remember the old days of the internet forum and uploading videos to YouTube. Since late 2016, however, TrueCoach has been a useful means for you to receive programming and interact with your coach. TrueCoach also comes with its own shortcomings. Designed as a mass-market coaching product, TrueCoach’s primary target client is the CrossFit coach. It utilizes free-form text boxes for programming to accommodate the widely-varied training styles of its large customer base. It’s simple. It’s adaptable to most. But it’s tailored to no one. This is a problem for a strength and nutrition coaching service that is based on measurable progress, celebrating Personal Records, and personalized programming.
Very simply, our vision for the ideal professional and personalized coaching service cannot fit withinTrueCoach’s functionality. And because it’s a 3rd party software, we have no control over the features added or the software company’s future. We frequently send out satisfaction surveys, and TrueCoach averages two full standard deviations below all other features of our Online Coaching Service in terms of client satisfaction. This fact cannot be understated when we consider that nearly 100% of all our interactions currently occur on a 3rd party software that we have no control over whatsoever.
For the past two years, we’ve been hard at work, investing time, money, and resources on our software—a custom system for BLOC Clients and Coaches. This software is ours, and it allows us to coach and serve you better by giving us complete control over its features and interface. The software design is by BLOC for BLOC.
The app will become the ecosystem for all Barbell Logic services and how our community (coaches and clients) access all things BLOC. The BLOC App isn’t a product; it’s the evolution of our mission to serve you and never settle for good enough.
The app is our custom solution. Unlike mass-market products, we don’t try to make money from your personal information, we don’t offer payment services, and you won’t see ads on the app. Our business is coaching, unsubsidized by anything else TrueCoach, as a business, is making money off their payment services, not their coaching product. Because of the increased cost in developing, servicing, and constantly improving our software, we’ve made the difficult choice to increase everyone’s monthly payment by $5. This price increase will go into effect July 1st. This price increase will not cover the increased cost to the company, but it will help reduce the load a bit—and we very much believe it’s worth it.
I know that change is hard—even I was highly skeptical that our team could design better software than TrueCoach, and I fought converting over my clients for quite some time. While TrueCoach has its shortcomings, it is a reliable software, which is why it’s the industry leader. On January 1st of this year, I transitioned all of my clients over to the BLOC App. Just like anything else that’s new, it takes a little getting used to, but after the first week or two of using it, I LOVED it. It felt so much more like us. And with each week that passes, our team of developers releases new features—the ones you want.
Below are some of my favorite existing and soon to be released features:
- Easy-to-display PR history right below the lift within the workout: The metric graph allows you to instantly see a PR or how this one workout fits into the bigger picture without leaving the workout screen.
- Automated tonnage calculation: We currently only display cumulative tonnage, but we’ll eventually have the ability to slice and dice the data for individual exercises.
- Tracking the actual work completed: If you can’t complete the prescribed sets, reps, or weight, just input what you actually did, and the metrics are automatically corrected.
- Separate nutrition calendar (and thus the ability to truly support you if you have a nutrition coach who is different from your strength coach)! With this solution, we’re finally able to offer a seamless, single-user interface for both the coach(es) and client, facilitating nutrition coaching without cluttering up the workout calendar. The two-calendars system is a custom solution for BLOC. No other software would do this for us, and it’s just one example of how we can customize the app to fit our specific coach and client needs.
- Leaderboard automatically updated in real-time: The BLOC App software defaults to being anonymous, but if you choose to do so, you can see how you stack up against other BLOC clients. Soon, you will be able to filter the leaderboard by age, weight, sex, demographic, etc.
- Faster and less buggy across-the-board compared to TrueCoach: TC has a lot of “tech debt,” meaning lots of coding band-aids, which is why we keep seeing the same bugs over and over again. The BLOC App WILL have bugs—all software does—but because the code is solid, the bugs are more easily fixed and won’t show up again.
- 24/7/365 app support by our team. We’re no longer one of hundreds or thousands of customers. We’re THE customer. We prioritize and have 100% of the support team’s attention. The app currently has a 99.9% uptime reliability.
We know not all of you value all of the reasons we are moving to our app and feel resistance about learning a new software. I get it—change isn’t easy. We’re doing everything we can to make the transition as smooth as possible. We’ve developed an on-ramp process with updated videos, documentation, and frequently asked questions, so that you can have confidence that you are getting the very most out of our new software. We’re also automatically transferring all of your metrics from TrueCoach, and will send you a neatly archived spreadsheet of your TrueCoach workout history.
We are really excited about this step and also very grateful that you are part of this vision.