Testosterone for the iPhone: iPump Total Body

Anything that makes going to the gym easier has to be a good thing, right? The iPhone might be just the kick in the gym shorts you need, depending on how you equip it. iPump Total Body aims to provide you with a pocket-size personal trainer, via an iPhone app that allows you to plan and log your workouts.

PumpOne, makers of iPump Total Body, have a clear interest in promoting the iPump brand on the iPhone/iPod touch platform. There are no less than 16 apps bearing the iPump name currently available in the app store. Since iPump Total Body claims to provide a more balanced approach, I thought it the best candidate for review. I couldn’t help but wonder whether PumpOne might’ve spread themselves too thin with so many apps.

Total Body provides 4 levels of pre-set workouts, each intended to be a step up in intensity. An individual workout is basically a rich-media slide show, combining pictures, audio, and video to guide you. I opted for Level 1: Foundation, for my trial, since I was intimated by all the pictures scattered throughout of intimidating hardbodies.

Level 1 is broken down into a four-week cycle, and each workout is meant to be prefaced by a 5-minut cardio warm up of your choosing. The workout features 10 exercises, spread out over a variety of body areas such chest, legs, abs, and back. Individual exercises feature photographs of models demonstrating the workout, along with detailed text instructions. You swipe to move to the next exercise, and at the end you can press “Complete” to log the workout. Rotating the iPhone enables landscape view, in which the photos are displayed, with the text instructions overlaid when you tap the screen.

Truth be told, I was not very impressed by iPump Total Body. The information was useful, yes, but it was presented in a drab way that feels canned and doesn’t, in my opinion, take advantage of the unique characteristics of the iPhone/iPod touch platform. I also didn’t once find an exercise that had a video demonstration. Finally, it was incredibly annoying that I couldn’t customize workouts according to my preference, which is going to be a deal-breaker for more advanced users. At $2.99, you probably want to skip this one unless you really need the reference material.

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