Barbora Dostalova4 min

Sculpting Success: Designing a Fitness App for Arnold Schwarzenegger

DesignProductJun 22, 2023



Jun 22, 2023

Share this article

When it comes to fitness icons, few names resonate as powerfully as Arnold Schwarzenegger. I’d like to provide a glimpse into how STRV designed The Pump — a fitness app and visual brand tailored specifically for Arnold, capturing the essence of his legendary status while empowering users to achieve their fitness goals.

The seven-time Mr. Olympia, Hollywood action star and former Governor of California has inspired millions worldwide to embrace a healthy and active lifestyle. Now, he’s got an STRV-made app that will inspire millions more. 

As the STRV designer on The Pump, here’s how I designed it (with the help of our team as well as Arnold’s).

Understanding the History & Intention

Designing a fitness app for Arnold meant encapsulating the spirit of his achievements and the principles that have guided his success. Researching his journey, training methodologies and personal philosophies laid the foundation for creating an app that aligns with his persona.

In early 2023, Arnold launched his daily newsletter, “Arnold’s Pump Club.” In a way, it was the precursor of The Pump app. This newsletter was extremely successful, quickly garnering over 431,000 subscribers — a group of people Arnold fondly calls his “village.” 

Why mention this village? Because it highlighted the diversity of Arnold fans. STRV wasn’t building an app for a specific audience, like bodybuilders or high-performance athletes. Arnold's goal was to target all types of people. And it made sense; a healthy lifestyle and exercise are important for all of us. 

Fundamentally, the app had to appeal to a range of users, from beginners seeking guidance to pros striving for peak performance. 

App Architecture & Features

In the vast world of design, we can't be experts in every field for which we create products. When it comes to health and fitness, it’s especially crucial to have knowledgeable individuals around to guide us. 

As designers, we must consult with experts to ensure the architecture of our applications and the logical arrangement of features are tailored to the needs of our target users. Embracing this collaboration and working hand-in-hand with these specialists creates impactful experiences. It will always elevate any design to new heights.

On this project, we had the privilege of working with Arnold's core team — professionals who directly collaborate with Arnold in the field of nutrition and fitness every day. Their insights were crucial for crafting designs that resonate with users across various demographics and fitness levels.

Key Features of the App

Personalized Training Programs: Based on user input during onboarding, The Pump offers customized workout routines tailored to individual goals and fitness levels, with progress tracking and adjustments per user needs. 

Exercise Library: A robust library of exercises, images and video demonstrations, enabling users to learn proper form and technique from Arnold’s golden era. It utilizes a compilation of never-before-seen video archives. 

Community (driven by Arnold): A community built around the app where users can interact, seek motivation and even chat with the big man himself about their goals or struggles. Arnold personally replies to people via comments, providing support and guidance. 

Motivational Bible: Numerous health, fitness and educational tips and articles for beginners, advanced and even professional athletes. Guided content full of inspiration and motivation, all under the control of Arnold and his highly experienced team. 

Crafting The Pump as a Tribute to Arnold's Legacy & Golden Era

Creating The Pump meant capturing the intricacies of Arnold's character and the retro vibes of the 1970s, infusing them into every aspect of the app.

Color Palette

Color played a pivotal role in defining The Pump's brand identity. For the primary color, we chose vibrant red — Arnold's favorite color and one that symbolizes passion, energy and determination. It ignites a sense of motivation and power, setting the perfect tone for a fitness app that pushes users to new levels.

Timeless Design

The overall design takes cues from Arnold's formidable presence during his golden era of bodybuilding. We wanted to transport users back to that period, evoking a sense of nostalgia and admiration for this legend. To achieve this, we incorporated retro 70s vibes into the visual elements, bringing forth a touch of timeless elegance.

Bold Typography

Embracing the nature of brutalism style, the design incorporates bold, impactful typography that captures the strength and confidence synonymous with Arnold’s character. The typography is a visual representation of his unwavering determination and larger-than-life persona.

Dark Mode

The use of dark mode as the default adds a touch of modernity and distinguishes The Pump from other fitness apps, most of which use light and bright color schemes. It enhances the visual appeal while ensuring a comfortable, immersive experience — allowing users to focus on their fitness journey without any distractions. 

Beyond the Expected

During the design process of The Pump app, our team embarked on an extraordinary journey that took us farther than we’d planned. Creating a brand identity wasn’t a part of our initial goals; it’s not something STRV normally delivers, as our specialty is product design. But we recognized an opportunity to elevate the user experience, and we went for it with all we’ve got.  

By designing a distinct brand identity, we created a unique and memorable visual language that sets The Pump app apart from the rest. 

Share this article

Sign up to our newsletter

Monthly updates, real stuff, our views. No BS.