This App is Changing Physical Fitness at District 228
AthleticU helps teachers customize workouts to meet students’ goal 

 AthleticU (AU) is a web-based fitness program that has an accompanying mobile application and was developed by Mark Feldner, who is a certified strength and conditioning coach at a Chicago area high school. Feldner was inspired to develop the program from his own experience.

 “I felt like I was missing out on so many opportunities to coach and teach better,” says Feldner. “We as teachers didn’t have the technology to do the best job we could at the scale we wanted to do it. So, luckily enough, I have a family member who is a technology expert and can put together and guide a development team. I began to tell him what we wanted to do and he and the development team put together this amazing user-friendly web and app platform that we used in our classrooms and weight rooms.  As each day went by, I saw new and better ways to add to the functionality and data reporting. A few years later and we have something really cool to bring to schools.”

Feldner explains his overall mission is to provide schools, coaches and teachers with a data tool that allows them to individualize and optimize each student’s workout experience. In just three years after launching, 70 schools, 334 coaches, and 9,304 students regularly use the application. Bremen High School District 228 is no exception and has implemented the use of AU in all four of its schools this year.

“I love the concept of students utilizing technology in the classroom,” says District 228’s Curriculum Supervisor for Health, Driver, and Physical Education (P.E.), Terri Shrishuhn. “More importantly, the goal for our students is to be able to apply fitness concepts that will help them develop and maintain a healthy lifestyle. AU provides a user-friendly platform to assist students with their efforts.”

District 228 teachers say the app has already transformed P.E. classrooms and the way students learn about and teachers teach physical fitness.

“I’m passionate about physical fitness and want my students to understand how important it is to be healthy,” says Hillcrest High School Power Strength teacher, Stacey Lane. “I believe fitness is specific to each individual and that everyone moves at their own pace and has something unique to work on. AU can help students move forward at a rate that works for them. We don’t have to teach physical fitness in a box.”

 Lane says she uses the app to design workouts that are specific to her students and their physical fitness goals. For example, Lane has several football players in one of her classes. With the help of their coach, she created a workout that is balanced with their game and conditioning schedule. Instead of having to complete their workouts after school and take up part of practice time, she says the students do their customized workouts in class.

Aside from football, Lane can use the app to customize a variety of workouts for different goals. “If a student doesn’t play a sport I ask them what’s important to them,” she explains. “If they want nice abs, I can give them a workout to help them tone their abs.”

Teachers can monitor students’ progress on the app and see who is moving too quickly and who is moving too slow. “This frees up a lot of my time because I can offer assistance to someone who is struggling or really needs help while other students can continue their workout without being interrupted,” says Lane.

Cassie Gaines, Power Strength teacher at Tinley Park High School explains some additional ways she has found AU helpful in the classroom. “When students come into class with a sore back or leg I can customize a re-hab workout for them by communicating with the school’s physical therapist. They don’t have to sit out of class. Plus, AU can also be used outside of the classroom. If a student misses a class, they can easily complete the workout at home.”

Additionally, if seniors have signed to play a sport in college, Gaines says she can get that students’ workout schedule ahead of time and begin conditioning them for the future.

 How do students feel about AU?

 “After every class, I show my students their workout results,” says Gaines. “They can see their score and how well they completed the workout. The next day, they come in with the mindset to beat their score from the day before.”

 Find out more about AthleticU at