“I’m looking for 5 … “ “DM me for prices.” “You should never do this if you want to lose weight!”
I don’t know about you, but these Instagram fitness coaches are getting quite irritating. Is there a solution that won’t make my training feel like a chore?
Well, according to the developers at Fitbod, their app is the missing link. Let’s investigate!
What is Fitbod?
Fitbod is obviously an amalgamation of the words fitness and body and was developed to create an environment where beginners and seasoned lifters can all get their workouts on the go. It was developed by Fitbod Inc. and has received glowing reviews online from end users.
The reason such an app was created is that there appears to be a lot of confusion in the fitness world, especially around applicable guidance. Coaches and influencers are eager to say their methods are best, but those aren’t always accessible to the masses.
The Fitbod app, which is available at the App Store or the Google Play Store, aims to bring applicable information, workouts, and guidance to the consumer. They also have a website where they sell clothes, write articles, and much more.
But let’s get to the actual application that you can download on your phone — what are the main features?
- A complete and intuitive workout builder
- A ‘recovery tracker’
- A full training log that records each session
- A workout tracker
Pretty standard stuff when you think about a workout app. So just like a recipe that only has a few ingredients, each one has to be damn well near perfect for the app to be any good.
Fitbod Details & Features
As mentioned, the Fitbod app is built upon four different aspects, all working in tandem to help you build muscle and lose fat. The website, videos, and weekly newsletter all work together to replicate what a personal trainer might give you.
Here’s what you’ll find in the Fitbod app:
So, you’re planning a big gym session before the weekend starts, but you’re not quite sure which movements to do.
You don’t just want to train one muscle. Ideally, you’d like to train multiple. Well, Fitbod thought of that when designing its workout builder.
It’s incredibly intuitive, easy to use, and gives you a ton of options to select from:
- The amount of time you spend in the gym
- Which muscle groups you’d like to train? They also have certain groups premade, such as a push or pull muscles
- An equipment list that you can use to let the app know which dumbbells, barbells, and kettlebells you have (so unlike equipment-specific programs like Visual Impact Kettlebells, the Fitbod app has a lot more equipment options!)
- The workout goal, such as strength training, bodybuilding, or general fitness
- Difficulty (beginner, intermediate, advanced)
- Bodyweight only; yes or no
Moving slightly lower, you’ll also be met with a Target Muscles section, which actually shows you the muscle on the body. This might seem a bit “eh” to gym goers, but for the inexperienced, a bicep femoris located in the leg makes zero sense.
Select all the options that are to your liking, wait a few seconds, and boom! A workout designed according to your parameters pops out.
Some things you’ll notice immediately when you’re met with a new workout are:
The App Loves Supersets
Most workouts (if not all) will come with supersets — even those designed for powerlifters. If you’re unaware, powerlifters lift heavy and controlled, which is exactly the opposite of what supersets are.
This might be because it’s part of a program, but since the app doesn’t design a full program, just a single workout, it’s more likely to copy and paste from other workouts…
The App Also Loves High-Volume Training
There’s nothing wrong with high-volume training. To an extent, volume is the driver of hypertrophy … granted that volume is actually stimulating.
That said, most of the workouts jump at you with a very stereotypical 4 x 12 or 3 x 10. Again, not necessarily bad, but without the knowledge of progressive overload and mechanical tension, it’s a bit lackluster.
Apparently, Everyone Can Do 7 Exercises In an Hour
This might just be me being a little anal, but regardless of the weight or volume used, the app firmly stands with the “7 exercises an hour” rule.
Maybe for 75% of the people who download the app, but have you ever deadlifted 700 lbs and recovered as quickly as someone who only does 135? Because it takes me several minutes just to catch my breath after a set at 700.
Is the Workout Builder Part of the App Good?
For the most part, yes. It doesn’t disappoint, and it doesn’t offend. It does everything reasonably well, at the expense of seeming a bit dull.
Again, the standard workouts, volume, and recovery time for each training session are signs of corners being cut.
If you’re unsure of what I mean, my old roommate and I would go to the gym together. He’s a powerlifter, and I’m a bodybuilder. I’d be on exercise 3, and he’d begin his first working set of squats because it took him that long to warm up.
The app might not physically be able to account for those things, but they could have at least tried.
The Recovery Tracker
Recovery is, of course, one of the most important parts of any fitness journey. So it’s rather fitting they added something to help you track yours.
Once you finish a set, a little tracker pops up to ask you on a scale of “no effort” to “max effort” how hard the set was. Once the entire workout is completed, you get more information as well, but I’ll talk more about this in the section below.
The recovery trackers are kind of just a helpful indicator to the user about which muscles were trained last on a silhouette of a person. Muscles that were trained harder are very red, and other muscles are different shades of red depending on how much volume and load you used.
A bit of a gimmick to those that have any idea of how muscle recovery works, but for those that don’t, this could be very helpful.
One problem, however, is the lack of tips on how to improve recovery! Solution? Personally, loading screens could be made longer with tips on them, like with games.
“Sleeping less than 8 hours per night has been linked to fat gain, muscle loss, and poor recovery.”
And now the user immediately knows they need to sleep more than that.
You also get complete control over the workout that’s been given to you by the workout builder. While they do give a general set and rep scheme guide, those that wish to change this can. This splits the app in two, from being something that makes workouts only to being something you can track your own data on.
As you might expect, the regulars can be controlled, such as reps, sets, weight used, etc. You can add a note to an exercise, but unfortunately, you can’t alter or enter a new exercise.
For instance, when I used the app for a push session, there was no JM press, and I had to say it was a skullcrusher — which it isn’t.
Once the session is done, the app kindly provides you with some stats, such as the total volume completed, the number of calories burned (estimate), and achievements! The last is rather nice and makes the app or your workouts seem like a little game.
The overall training log allows you to scroll back to previous sessions to see how much weight you used, how hard the set was, and, of course, the notes you left.
Overall, this is where the app shines because it really shows clarity about your entire progress up to this point. It also doesn’t lock you into the workouts given and allows you the freedom to do your own stuff.
Who is Fitbod Good for?
Now that we have an understanding of how the app works and what it does and doesn’t do, we can finally answer the question of who would enjoy this app and who wouldn’t.
The people that would benefit from the app can be summarized as follows:
- More advanced people would appreciate the app more. However, beginners would find it somewhat useful, even though the information is lacking
- Those looking to just have the means to track workouts. You won’t be learning a ton here, as this is a tool, not a companion
- Males and females — regardless of their goals — can benefit from this app
Overall, the app is generally for everyone. That said, there are those who this app is certainly not for.
Who is Fitbod Not for?
Brand new beginners.
The app would work well for those that have some experience, even just a bit of high school PT. But those with virtually no experience in fitness and health will be overloaded with information and options, yet there will be zero education on some of the basics.
Could some beginners thrive with the app? Of course.
However, I wouldn’t, for instance, prescribe this to my mother. It’s too much, and she would have too many questions about what this or that means and what she can do to make her body stop hurting.
How Much Does Fitbod Cost?
The cost of the Fitbod app is $79.99 per year or $12.99 per month.
Is Fitbod App Free?
The Fitbod App is a paid subscription (price above). However, there’s a short trial period for you to test the app to see if it would meet your needs.
Is Fitbod Good for Beginners?
If you have some experience, for instance, if you’ve been to a gym once or twice before, sure. It would certainly be good for that type of beginner. However, if you have zero training experience, it might not be the best.
There’s a lot of information and options for you to choose from, and this can be overwhelming. What’s more, they fail to give tips on how to breathe when lifting, how to recover, what to do between sets, etc.
Workit is an app that also tracks workouts and is pretty good at creating workouts for you to do. However, Fitbod offers this and a lot more. Workit looks incredibly low-budget compared to Fitbod, and there are way fewer options on Workit.
Fitbod also allows you to share and save workouts. Thus you never run the risk of losing data. Workit doesn’t do this.
With a name like Strong, you can expect the app to be focused on weightlifting, and it is. Strong is certainly more focused on strength than Fitbod is.
However, Fitbod offers more clarity and opportunities for beginners. Strong is great at what it does, which is being a tracker for strength athletes — just a different path than Fitbod.
Surprisingly, Fitbod is one of the most-reviewed apps online. The general agreement is that the app is definitely up there with the best of ‘em, especially for beginners.
When asked which apps other Redditers would suggest, commenters had the following to say on this thread:
“I have been using Fit Bod for a couple of years now. While it’s not perfect, it is absolutely the best that I have found. I would recommend using Fit Bod.”
“I think Fitbod is brilliant. I’ve often got bored without workouts but this is really good for variety.”
“The ability to dynamically generate workouts based on constraints (i.e. which parts of the gym are available) is paramount to me, so in that regard, totally worth it.”
3 Fitbod Pros
Freedom of Choice
Because the app allows you to chip in and change each workout as needed, the chances of you ever growing bored with the app or running into ergonomic errors are slim. While more development is surely welcome, the freedom as-is is pretty nifty.
You often come across people who don’t have access to old sessions or lose them when using other devices. Because Fitbod allows you to save your data to a network rather than to a device, you can use multiple devices.
You also have access to each workout and every single set! This gives you much more clarity on how to progress into the future.
UX and UI
User design and user interface play pretty big roles in the world today. If something doesn’t work or looks great, we simply replace it. Fitbod is easy to use and looks pretty darn good, which makes the whole experience a lot better.
1 Fitbod Con
It’s Both Too Much and Too Little
Now, I know what you’re probably thinking…
So before you have a brain aneurysm about what I mean, just imagine walking into a library knowing how to read only a few words. That would feel pretty overwhelming, right?
In the same breath, no one would explain different genres, styles, etc. The app is similar.
The user does have all the freedom in the world, but they also fail to educate the user. The freedom with the lack of education might be a bad scenario for someone who’s a complete beginner, and that wouldn’t be the ideal situation for them.
That’s why it’s probably best to make use of their website (with the blog articles) and perhaps another fitness app that’s focused on teaching the basics — progressive overload, mechanical tension, nutrition, recovery, etc.
Lastly, perhaps a whole section could be dedicated to beginners. Videos about the basics, how to warm up, what the “mind to muscle” connection means, and all the questions you have as a beginner answered by a fitness expert.
These reasons are just part of the reason we scored the Freeletics app a whole point higher than Fitbod!
When looking at the Fitbod app as a whole, it’s remarkably well-executed. They thought about pretty much everything a user might need or ask and made sure the app had the answers.
With the phenomenal UX/UI and the incredible information they packed in, most people are bound to love this app.
That said, most people are not all people. There are some, perhaps those who are brand spanking new to fitness, that might feel overwhelmed. To those people, a more gentle introduction with plenty of easy-to-digest information wouldn’t go amiss.
How can the app improve? Easy.
- Give more information about fitness.
- Stop doing cookie-cutter workouts.
- Have a big button with “Beginner!” written on it so someone in that position can smash it, and all their needs will be met. Easily done because a beginner’s needs aren’t as severe as those of someone who’s more experienced.
Other than those little details, this is an app I’d be happy to spend my own money on.
Rating: 4.0 out of 5