97 Comments

Summary:

In the words of the immortal Hans & Franz, “We’re Going to Pump You Up!” Or at least, iFitness for the iPhone and iPod touch is going to. The personal trainer app has enjoyed a lofty position on the Top Paid charts in the iTunes store, […]

In the words of the immortal Hans & Franz, “We’re Going to Pump You Up!” Or at least, iFitness for the iPhone and iPod touch is going to. The personal trainer app has enjoyed a lofty position on the Top Paid charts in the iTunes store, and I wanted to find out why. I’d been disappointed before, so I hoped that iFitness might restore my faith, and get me back in the gym.

From the start, things were looking up with iFitness. The UI, while nothing special, was clean, simple, and dialed-down, which strikes me as appropriate for an application that I’ll be using at the gym in between exercises. From the home screen, you can access individual exercises, your custom workout, pre-set routines, and your log from the bottom navigation bar.

On the Exercises screen, you can browse by categories organized according to muscle group. You can also search for an exercise by individual muscle, or browse the list in its entirety alphabetically. One of the key features of iFitness is the ability to add and edit custom exercises to the already extensive list that comes with the app. Clicking on an exercise shows its details on the home screen, initially displaying just an image series showing you what to do. You can press a button at the top to display text instructions, add to your workout, or add to your log.

My Workout displays your custom workout, which you can build by adding exercises from their information screens. You can also add dividers to separate muscle groups or sets. My Workout adds a degree of customizability that makes iFitness a must-have for more advanced users. The only downside is that you can only create one workout, so the list could get unwieldy if you want to keep a variety of custom routines.

The preset routines are good starting points for novice users. Each has an extensive description to tell you just what the workout is meant to do, and a list detailing number of sets and repetitions.

iFitness has definitely found a place as my app of choice for workout management, since the ability to add custom exercises and your own routine is crucial to my fitness habits. At only $1.99, it’s a steal for beginners and more advanced users alike.

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  1. 9 iPhone Apps to Keep You Fit | TheAppleBlog Tuesday, November 25, 2008

    [...] to people who are just making the jump from more traditional workout aids like videos and DVDs. iFitness The best fitness app for general users, since it gives you all the basics, but you can also [...]

  2. I am a regular Gym rat and after having this post I have tried out iFitness for … well what it tries to do. Unfortunately I have to say that this app is totally useless for anyone. I would *NOT* recommend it for even the beginners.

    The interface is far from intuitive, but let’s not even get into that.
    The biggest problem with this kind of app is that when people go to the Gym, they often find the exercises they want to do themselves depending on the equipment of their own gym. Or that they can learn from the people there or if they have read about the exercises online.

    The categories are completely misleading. Having an “Arms” already signifies how the developers have no clue about working out (there are at least 4 different major muscle groups in your arms). I spent 5 minutes looking into the build in exercises, and I could not for the life of me figure out how could so many of the basic exercises are not even there. Yes you can add your own workouts/exercises, but in reality a simple list or notepad would do a much better job.

    The logging is nearly useless, if you actually try to use it.
    They shouldn’t even try to advertise it in their app.
    iFitness is an app that tries to do a bunch of things, but does none of them well (or far from it).

    Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is the truth.
    Now to be a little fair, the other gym apps aren’t great either.

    As a regular gym goer, and someone who always help out people in the gym, I highly recommend AGAINST this app.

    1. I think you’re being a little critical. I’ve loved the app. Perhaps its not great if you are a gym rat like yourself. (somebody who knows all exercises backwards and forwards.) However for a novice this is great. I liked the logs because I found it motivational for me to see what I’ve done and where I’m going. It helped keep me wanting to go back and continue.

    2. I’ve been working out off and on for the past 2 years and I’ve always been searching for a good system to log my workouts. This program I would have to say is by far the best, mind you I know which exercises I need to do and I really only use it for logging my reps and sets + distances. It’s done a great job doing it so far and it beats bringing a pad of paper and pencil. (At least for my sake because I always lose the pen, rip / sweat on the paper.) But then again that’s just me.

    3. I gotta agree with you. I am NOT a gym rat and stil find it has many basic shortcomings. Some of the missing exercises are nobrainers. The logging is fine, but why can’t I create a custom “routine”. Why can’t I list the same exercise twice in one workout? Why can’t I plan my reps and sets ahead of time without having to “log” them until they are actually done?

    4. You’re an idiot…. This app’s awesome.

    5. I think your comments are completely misleading, you give no alternative to the app or a solution to the so called bad exercises. maybe you dont understand how to use the app or are just too juiced up to focus on the screen to add the information needed, i think it gives a great start and also something to do while they rest between reps. stay with your chalk board and all will be ok.

    6. I think the app is great, there are some exercises that are missing but you can add your own, Logging is great it even has video demonstration for some activities, It has programs, Its great for mixing up your workouts,

      I use it for logging progress which is fine and use it to mix up different exercises

    7. Dramatic? More like Drama Queen.

    8. you absolute moron. It gets people exercising…. Its better than not having anything at all, isnt it!!!!!??! idiot.

    9. I think your comment is way off. As someone who started working out in 7th grade (I’m 35 now) but isn’t a gym rat (just a normal guy) consider what I like about this app:
      1. It is easy to use while I am huffing and puffing between sets. I actually look forward to entering my data.
      2. It motivates me (more so than when I was in the military) by means of me not wanting to see a valley in my charts/graphs because I skipped a day.
      3. As for it not being intuitive…really? I thought it was plainly intuitive and sort of on the simple side.
      4. The great thing about it is it helps keep me focused. I became used to doing circuit training in rural Arkansas to get ready for football training. In those sessions we had the luxury of a spartan group workout where 3 men teams would follow each other around in a circle hitting different exercises. It was highly efficient. I don’t work out with anyone but myself now. So, having a plan saves me a lot of time and in my mind provides my body with the best chance of seeing results. I see a lot of chubby guys and gals in the gym just sort of milling around. I bet if they had a plan they would probably become regulars…

      So, for what it’s worth this little app is an efficiency tool that you can use to show results in strength gain, endurance, stamina, and even weight loss.

      The only complaint I would have is that the loading time is 3 seconds longer than I would expect.

      Geez – iFitness should pay me to write this review.

    10. I have to agree that you are being a little critical on this app. The majority of people spend hundreds of dollars on personal trainers, so what is a $1.99 to help them get started on their journey to become healthy. I am getting ready to start my journey back to the gym and getting healthy by using all iTouch apps and blogging about it. So we will see how this app does during the long haul.

    11. I would like to delete some of the selections for a category, example I only do a few ab exercises but I have to scroll through a sea of options til I get to my exercise. Anything to make me workout more is well worth $1.99. Live longer, Live Happier, Live Healther. Sounds like a good value. Don’t worry I don’t own the stock of this company. However I have exercised my entire life and few years I have worked to much and exercised to little so need some motivation. I have been happy so far.

  3. What about Fit Phone? For people that have been around a gym and don’t need the awful pictures and descriptions of each exercise, Fit Phone blows the others away.

  4. @gos

    Not sure what version you used. But the latest version you can sort the exercises by muscle group. Arms is broken down into Biceps Brachii, Brachialis, Triceps Brachii, Wrist Extensors and Wrist Flexors. I don’t know all the muscle groups, so I’m not saying it’s accurate, just saying there’s some more advanced filtering now.

    It’s also regularly updated, which is nice.

  5. I completely disagree with the comments of gos. I had similar first impressions, but all of these complaints have been fixed with recent updates.

    The logging feature is great and is obviously designed by someone who has been to the gym a lot. Select the exercise you are about to perform from the list and you can quickly find the weight and reps you did last time. You can then set the weight and reps in the fields and repeatedly hit the add button. In practice it means about 3 seconds between sets to log everything. It even has a place to make a note for each specific set. This rapidly beats a pencil and paper if you go a lot because it is 1) faster than using a pen and 2) does not eventually run out of space.

    I do agree about it being somewhat misleading with the categories, but if you use it with a set routine that you design outside of the program itself it can be very useful.

  6. I agree with Tim. I’ve found this app very useful. Especially since I got an armband for my phone I can listen to music, record my reps and weights and even use a timer for breaks. Gotta love this little device; it’s the gym goers best friend, in my opinion. And Tim, you’re right about using a set routine. Personally, I’ve created 4 different workouts for each day I go and its worked out quite well for me. I was suprised by how many simple exercises I had to create to make a functional workout, but having done so, I enjoy using the app in my workouts now.

  7. I love this app, I’ve been going to the gym for several years but always to lazy to rally track my progress. I created 6 of my own workouts and added several exercises that were not in the app already, which you can add to the workouts you create. It’s great it keeps me disciplined and forces me to do exercises I normally would not do. I enter all my stats and email my self the record once a week and compile everything into one master spreadsheet where I can track my progress. I highly suggest this app. It would be even better if you could get a tailored workout from a professional trainer, maybe a new one every three months, and offer this service at a deep discount.

  8. I like the application, however, here is a suggestion when entering a new “Workout”.

    I wanted to create a Workout called “Steve’s ABS”. After creating it, I started to add the relevant abs exercises. I had to browse throught the entire list and handpick the exercises. I would have preferred to be given the option to add all of the Abs exercises as listed in the “Exercise” tab, and then remove those I don’t want.

    Can it also be possible to allow editing the name of the custom exercise, after it has been created?

    When adding multiple Sets in a exercise log, allow the user to edit the ordinal position of the sets, for example;

    Set 1 , xxxxx
    Set 2 , yyyyy
    Set 3 , zzzzz

    Now I realized that Set 2 and 3 needs to be swapped in order

    Set 1, xxxxx
    Set 2, zzzzz
    Set 3, yyyyy

    Thanks

    Steve

  9. Maybe yoga section would be a nice addition to ifitness!

    1. yoga, is the biggest scam associated with fitness that ive witnessed in a long time. i personally do not quite understand how so many people have been fooled into thinking Yoga will some how get you into better shape. just my opinion, but really

    2. um actually no.. yoga isn’t a scam.. there are tonnes of benefits associated with stretching your muscles.. have you not noticed that people who only pump iron without any stretching have serious problems with their flexibility? yoga is a must.. i’ve been working out for years and yoga has recently became an indispensable part of my routine.. so i agree with the comment about yoga being a nice addition.. for more info read the NSCA’s guide on stretching etc

  10. Nice idea. I’ll try this out.

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