1. Establish a program-review tag and differentiate it from more general programming questions.
I think the first step here needs to be establishing a tag category for these sorts of questions. JohnP, Sean Duggan, and myself are all active users over at rpg.se, and I am going to be drawing on some of the things the community does over there. At RPG, there is a homebrew-review tag where users can ask for critiques and reviews of homebrewed RPG content. It works really well for differentiating proper review questions from more general review questions about the homebrewing process. I think this paradigm would serve us well here. We would create a program-review tag (name subject to change) to be used for questions asking for program reviews, and go through the pageantry of retagging questions. Call this step 1a, because, step 1b is...
We also need to unify the tagging used for general workout questions. Right now we have workout, workout-routines,workout-types, routines, programs, programming, training, strength-training,resistance-training, and running-training-plan, with no meaningful guidance about which to use in which circumstances. From these tags, we need to come out the other side with a program-review tag and, well, we'll worry about how to organize the rest later. The point is that all of these tags have program review questions in them, and we need to gather the program reviews into one tag.
2. Create a program review guidance meta post with some concrete expectations for the question type.
This is where we stand the most to improve on the quality of these questions. We often go through a close-edit-reopen before we get a question in a state that it can be answered, because these questions are often missing crucial information. At a minimum, I think we need to know:
- Some idea of your goals. We need to know what you're trying to do before we can tell you how to do that better.
- Enough detail about the program to actually know what you're doing through a training week. We often see these questions start with a list of exercises, but omit one or more of reps, sets, frequency, load, relative intensity, etc. I think that before we can really review a workout routine, we have to have a concrete idea of what you're doing when you step into the gym or set out on your run.
I think this is the bare minimum that we need, but questions can be improved further by including additional details about training history, diet, lifestyle, and other relevant things. For reference, here is rpg.se's version of such a meta post.
3. Add abbreviated guidance to the ask page when the program-review tag is used.
There is a neat feature on the ask page where certain tags can be set up to give warnings before the question is posted. For example, over at RPG, using the dungeons-and-dragons presents you with this warning before you post the question:
I believe this requires the assistance from SE staff, but we could have the program-review tag provide similar usage guidance when trying to submit a question, asking the user to make sure their question has included the minimum required details mentioned above.