How the Raspberry Pi Can Help Fitness Buffs To Get More Out Of Their Workouts

Over the years, technology has unleashed many different ways to track fitness progress. These days, it’s a standard thing for a smartphone to come with a pedometer that counts the user’s steps, while fitness bands and smartwatches can also monitor other workouts, like swimming.

However, it’s even possible now for you to build your own fitness device — and with less effort than you might have expected. Why not get hold of a Raspberry Pi and consider using it to replicate one of the following functionality-rich creations?


The Raspberry Pi Foundation tells the story of how James Wong decided to develop the web app HIIT Pi so that he could be more easily motivated to keep up HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workouts at home.

The app uses a Raspberry Pi camera module to detect workout poses and movements and subsequently scores these in line with a specific string of rules and standards. It is apt that Wong has described HIIT Pi as an “electronic referee”.


This is another fitness-based project highlighted by the Raspberry Pi Foundation, which explains that the setup “tracks the number of punches thrown during workouts with Raspberry Pi and a Realsense camera, and it also displays your progress and sets challenges on a touchscreen.”

That touchscreen is an official 7-inch Raspberry Pi panel, which you can buy for yourself from online retailer The Pi Hut. The screen can show ‘success’ and ‘fail’ messages after the Realsense robotic camera picks up data about the demonstrated quality of the user’s punching skills.

Pi Fighter

This one assesses your punching, too. However, more than that, it gamifies it. When you treat your workout as a game, rather than just an endeavour to reach a specific goal you have privately set yourself, you could find yourself enjoying the overall experience a lot more.

With Pi Fighter, the Raspberry Pi measures each detected punch’s power — in an accelerometer-like fashion — to calculate the number of hit points (HP) you take off whatever virtual character, like Darth Vader or Luke Skywalker, you happen to be fighting.

DIY smart scales 

If you have a Wii Balance Board you haven’t been using recently, you could turn it into a set of smart scales via use of a Raspberry Pi and a pencil.

The MagPi Magazine explains: “The Wii Balance Board connects via Bluetooth much like Wiimotes, although you’ll need a bit of custom code to keep it paired permanently — included with the rest of the code for this project.”

Meanwhile, you will need the pencil for pressing a button underneath the Balance Board.

Exercise bike mod 

You might have noticed that, recently, there’s been a trend of modifying exercise bikes so that the user faces a video showing an environment where the scene moves in pace with the cycling.

Yes, it’s basically about making the user feel as though they are genuinely cycling outdoors. A Raspberry Pi would enable you to track your pedalling and translate this to video feedback or graphic generation.