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September 01, 2012


Discussion of self tracking for athletic performance enhancement.


September 01, 2012

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  1. Overview • What I’ve been tracking and why – Weight

    (DIY scale, wii balance board, Withings scale) – Calorie/food intake (fatsecret) – Experiments (meal timing, IF, calorie/macro cycling, supplements) • Some tools I have used along the way – Research: mendeley – Visualization: Pandas,matplotlib,d3.js – APIs: fatsecret, withings, fitbit, runkeeper, zeo, bodymedia,etc. • Extras – Video tracking of skills – Devices for instantaneous feedback
  2. Weight tracking (1st iteration) • DIY wireless scale – 24

    bit AD7799 ADC – RN41 bluetooth serial module – At90usb162 microcontroller – Power switching logic (battery life 9-10 months)
  3. Why track weight/calories? • Consciously/subconsciously change behavioral patterns • Discover

    long term trends • Quantify effectiveness of actions, supplements
  4. Subconscious changes • Tracking weight even without consciously trying to

    alter it results in measurable change. • Start tracking, weight goes down without conscious effort. • Stop tracking/ track sporadically and weight goes up.
  5. Experiment(calorie cycling for performance) • Dramatically increase total calories on

    days with gymnastics workouts • Number of repetitions of skill-based exercises greatly increased • Currently trying refined version of the experiment where only carbs are cycled but calories kept as close to constant as possible
  6. pandas • Perfect for time series data • Aligns/re-samples unequally

    sampled time series for comparison • Rolling window functions for visualizing trends • Nice similarities to R, dataframe,etc.
  7. matplotlib • Easy to use, mature state of development •

    Integrates seamlessly with pandas • Integrates with ipython notebooks for documenting your experiments
  8. d3.js • Can produce pretty results • Easy to add

    interactivity • Quick to share with others using bl.ocks.org • Simple compared to raw SVG, but still fairly involved compared to matplotlib
  9. API hacking • Withings • Fatsecret • Fitbit • Instagram

    • Flickr • Python code available here: – https://github.com/trtg – Writeups (in progress) at my octopress blog here: • http://trtg.github.com/ • Older projects here: http://www.keyboardmods.com