With members on the team who enjoyed being members of the gym and high school athletics communities, we understood the effects of the temporary closing of gyms and schools across the nation due to the COVID-19 outbreak. We wanted to develop a solution to allow both frequent gym participants and normal people alike to be able to work out and stay fit during this pandemic, while safely practicing self-isolation and social distancing in their own homes. Hymn aims to allow people to log and share exercise plans with one another, along with recommending home exercises based on their goals and past workouts.

What it does

Hymn allows users to create a customized profile where they can outline their exercise goals and intensity levels. In their profile, users can also log the types of exercises, number of sets, and number of reps done in past workouts, and request a personalized workout recommendation for the next day based on their profile info. Hymn also includes a chat feature where users can socialize with one another and share workout info from their log.

How We built it

Hymn’s front end was initially planned using a Wix template which we then built off of and added to using our own HTML and CSS/Bootstrap code. We then opted to use React Native to make the front end of Hymn, resulting in appealing animations and a fluid design. We place our exercise log front and center with input fields above to log new exercises. Settings to change one’s preferences are at the bottom left corner while the chatroom is placed at the bottom right corner.

Firebase was used as the backend of Hymn; specifically, we used the realtime database to hold the preferences of which muscles that users wanted to target. The realtime database would then hold any logs that the user would make to Hymn, and each exercise would count towards a preference in the database. For the personalized exercise recommendations, we pulled data from Firebase including types of workouts from the last 7 days and their exercise preferences,  and ran it through a Javascript script to determine which muscle categories they needed to work on the most, and suggested exercises based on their needs.


Since most of our members were high school students who were new to hackathons and programming outside of the classroom, we faced a steep learning curve working with somewhat unfamiliar languages such as JavaScript (since high school curriculums heavily focus on Java) and programs such as Firebase and React Native. Many of our members were also unfamiliar with Github and the pushing process, which at times made it a little difficult to coordinate our different roles and collaborate on the web app’s backend. One of the more unexpected challenges we faced came from working under the short time span of 36 hours, since many of us were new to the hackathon environment, and needed to overcome fatigue and the stress of working with a close deadline.

Accomplishments that We're proud of

All of us were pushed beyond our comfort zones for the project as we learned to work with new tools and programming languages. Especially since it was the first hackathon for the majority of our team, it felt incredibly rewarding to finish a site that could potentially help millions of people stay healthier through home exercise and social contact with others who share their fitness goals during this pandemic.

What we learned

We learned how to use Firebase, a Google Cloud Platform product, as the backend of a web application. Now, we know how to write data to a realtime database while also formatting the data to be read by the application efficiently. In addition, this project gave us a chance to try new designs in React Native. Last but not least, creating an algorithm to recommend exercises challenged us to think in a logical yet creative manner.

What's next for Hymn

In the short term, we hope to make the application bug free and include more resources for how to perform some of the home exercises we recommend, along with expanding the features of our chat to allow users to send images or videos of themselves performing the various exercises. As for the long term future of Hymn, we hope to expand the app to include outdoor and gym exercises that people will be able to do once the pandemic ends, and potentially incorporate machine learning into some of the app’s features such as its exercise plan recommendations.

Try It out



firebase, react-native

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