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Friday, May 17, 2024

New GymBuddy App launches at UC Davis

Two UC Davis students introduce new app in hopes of connecting students who need workout buddies


By EVA MACHADO — sports@theaggie.org


Working out, especially at the gym, can be intimidating. GymBuddy is an app engineered by two UC Davis students in hopes of diminishing that fear and opening up the gym community to everyone. 

GymBuddy is a new app available for all UC Davis students looking to expand their workout circles and gym experiences. Through GymBuddy, gym-goers can connect with other workout enthusiasts who may be searching for a new workout partner and friend with similar interests. 

UC Davis students may ask, who are the creators of GymBuddy and what prompted them to create the app?

Eugene Liu, a third-year at UC Davis’s King Hall School of Law and Matthew Bagale, a fourth-year undergraduate student majoring in communication, created GymBuddy together at the end of winter quarter. Liu and Bagale met after becoming roommates this past year and have formed a friendship based on their love of going to the gym. Both Liu and Bagale would often go to the gym together in their free time, solidifying not only their new friendship, but also their shared passion as gym enthusiasts. 

Liu and Bagale described a predicament they found themselves in when one night, Bagale was too tired to work out, leaving Liu wishing he could find another gym-goer who would be able to work out with him. This led Liu to come up with the concept for GymBuddy.

Following Liu’s lightbulb moment, he went straight to Bagale, sharing his idea for an app that could immediately connect gym-goers looking for workout partners. Bagale loved the concept, and he and Liu began working on the app that night. Liu and Bagale created and coded the app. 

“I had previous experience coding a website that helped fashion designers raise money (as seen on WWD and CBS),” Liu said. 

With this experience, he was able to code the first version of GymBuddy in two weeks.

Then, GymBuddy was successfully launched through a presentation to one of Bagale’s classes at UC Davis and has taken off since.

GymBuddy is currently only directed toward UC Davis students. All UC Davis students can sign up for the app using their UC Davis email address, which ensures that they will be matched with other UC Davis students and meet people from within the Davis community. 

The app has two central ways of finding gym buddies around Davis. To start, you can match with people through their profiles, which describe their interests and gym goals. Specifically, users can look at others’ uploaded pictures, level of gym experience and preferred workout times in order to find people with similar preferences. GymBuddy’s profile feature is similar to dating apps like “Tinder” in that you can choose to match with other users based on their profiles.

The second function of GymBuddy is for users looking for quick matches to workout with.

“Quick Pair” is the second and newest feature of GymBuddy, which allows users to be paired with another user looking for a gym buddy within an hour based on their profiles. This feature is key in the main concept of connecting students in immediate need of a workout partner much like Liu was the night GymBuddy was created.

So far, GymBuddy has paired over 100 UC Davis students with gym buddies and over 200 students are current users of the app. 

Liu and Bagale have plans to make GymBuddy available on other campuses and in other areas, in hopes of connecting more gym buddies everywhere. This expansion may be a slow process, as the app focuses on only UC Davis students right now, but it will possibly include other universities in the future. Liu and Bagale have also discussed expanding to geographical areas outside of universities by making the pairings location-based; however, that will likely occur much further in the future.

As of now, GymBuddy is a student-made resource for UC Davis students to not only find like-minded gym goers but also people with similar recreational activity interests. Since it includes the ability to add photos to your profile, users can find others with similar workout interests outside of the gym too, such as spikeball or rowing. 

Bagale said that his and Liu’s main focus is to create “the best experience for the students.”


Written by: Eva Machado — sports@theaggie.org