I completely agree Povilas. Unfortunately, as a short visual design task, I didn’t have much time to delve into these ideas. But since we have been building the actual product, we found your points to be on the money.
Because of this, we added the functionality to;
1. Only compete against only yourself or friends so the intimidation is reduced.
2. Filter leaderboards to your weight, sex, or age so you can always find a similar physical competitor.
3. Compete in metrics that aren’t intimidating, and instead rely on effort. Examples of these are, heart rate effort, the number of workouts logged or even most exercises tried. All of which can be done today in the app without ability or physique.
4. Only showing the top 10 in any leaderboard and showing your place in comparison to this.
Lastly, any user can opt out of leaderboards full stop and instead use the product to track their own personal gains. Gymtimidation is a real problem we are trying to solve… but we think friendly competition can help with this when done correctly.