Q and A: How Design Thinking Helped Stanford Engineer Create “Wise Exercise” Program, Ocinator
What is Ocinator?
Ocinator is the GPS of fitness; it shows you the quickest way to getting a toned, athletic, and healthy body. Ocinator is a unique exercise program for busy adults and their families. It’s philosophy is “exercise wisely”. Ocinator releases a 20 minute daily at-home workout video. Each day’s workout features simple and non-exhausting exercises. This allows users to exercise consistently in order to gain and maintain fitness results. Ocinator Members also have access to The Ocinator Eating Guide, which makes eating healthily simple. Ocinator was created using Design Thinking, which I learned at Stanford.
What is Design Thinking?
Design Thinking is a systematic approach to solving everyday problems. It involves user-centered research to find and address a need that people have. Design Thinking is the foundation of the Product Design Major, which I completed, at Stanford. The creator of Snapchat was actually a Product Design Major at Stanford. Design Thinking helped him create Snapchat. He found that people had a need to send pictures quickly. The rest is history.
How did you apply Design Thinking to create Ocinator?
At first, I knew that most people want a program that will help them stay fit, toned, and athletic always.
Based on the current fads in fitness at the time, I thought that high intensity workouts with maximum effort would help people see results more quickly. Then, these quick results would inspire people to continue the program and exercise consistently. Boy, was I wrong.
I tested the program with busy adults and Stanford students. However, exhausting high intensity exercises, including jumping, left users sore for days, even weeks. Several people quit after one or two sessions because they were so sore. Exercising consistently is one of the most important factors in gaining and maintaining fitness results. Clearly, I had to change the program.
I found that busy adults, to exercise consistently, needed an exercise program that minimized workout time and exhaustion. I then researched and tested exercise methods that could help users see results as quickly as possible while minimizing workout pain.
I was pleasantly surprised with the results. After more testing, I found that these non-exhausting exercises worked more efficiently. Users were able to see toned muscles more quickly with these new exercise methods. They were now able to focus on sculpting their muscles into shape. Before, they had been focusing their energy on merely getting through the program.
Design Thinking helped me arrive at a program different than what I initially intended to create. Instead of a high intensity program, I created a program with simple exercises that does not leave users exhausted. And, as a bonus, these new training methods helped me create the most efficient exercise program that we know of.
What is “exercising wisely”? Does this mean that Ocinator exercises are more efficient?
Yes, exercising wisely means that Ocinator gets results efficiently. Users minimize time and effort when exercising. At the same time, they perform exercises that earn them fitness results more quickly than high intensity programs.
It seems counter-intuitive that non-exhausting exercises get results more quickly than high intensity exercises. How do you explain this?
Yes, it is certainly counter-intuitive. I was surprised that non-exhausting exercises earned users results over a shorter time span. And I was also somewhat disappointed that I had wasted so much of my own time performing high intensity exercises, which felt like torture. I could have been earning better-looking results while putting in significantly less effort.
One aspect is that non-exhausting exercises allow you to focus on your muscle movements. With non-exhausting exercises, you can focus on combining your breathing and feeling yourself sculpt your muscle into shape and improve your overall health. On the other hand, high intensity exercises make you focus on merely getting through the exercise, wiping away profuse sweat, catching your breath, and perhaps not vomiting.
Another aspect is exercising consistently. Non-exhausting exercises help people exercise every day without dealing with undue soreness. This is especially helpful for busy adults. Exhausting exercise just is not appealing for many people before or after a long day of work. So, instead of quitting or exercising once every week, as high intensity exercises prompt, non-exhausting exercises help many people consistently sculpt their bodies with exercise.
Professional athletes perform high intensity exercise all the time. Many of these athletes have great bodies. Should we not be using the same training methods?
Here’s an analogy I like to use: If your goal is to arrive at Rome as soon as possible, you should find the wisest path: the quickest, easiest, and smartest way to get there. Rome is like the toned and healthy body many busy adults would like to achieve. Ocinator is the quickest and easiest way to achieve that body.
On the other hand, Rome, the main goal for athletes, is not a toned an athletic body. Rome for athletes is becoming the best athlete they can possibly be. A toned and athletic body often comes along with excellent athletic performance. But it is not the main goal.
As you can see, busy adults and athletes have different goals. It is wise to plan the quickest, easiest, and smartest way to achieve your specific goal. Ocinator is the wise way for busy adults to achieve a toned, athletic, and healthy body.
How difficult is the eating component of Ocinator?
The Ocinator Eating Guide, which is accessible to Ocinator Members, is very simple. As you know, it requires a lot of work and research to make something simple. A lot of research and design thinking went into creating the Ocinator eating guide to simplify and make eating an enjoyable part of our users’ life. It is not a diet plan that involves counting calories or limiting carbs or any food group, or complicated research. Instead, it involves eating quality, healthy food and eliminating junk food, including products with added sugar and refined grain. The Ocinator Eating Guide details what healthy food is, what junk food is, how to eat healthily at home, and even what to order at restaurants.
How can readers learn more about Ocinator?