So, I started this post over two months ago to say I’m tired of feeling sluggish so, I’m thinking of joining the gym, blah, blah, blah…
Well, I completely stalled on that post and soon after joined Goodlife Fitness. They opened a new place near my house, with “24-hour” access, it was only $17 per paycheque, and the first four weeks were free. This essentially eliminated the usual excuses I had for not joining. So, I did. :^)
A couple of months in to it, I finally feel like I’m finding my groove. It took me a while at first because I couldn’t, for the life of me, decide on a workout schedule that I liked. Yes, I had to have a workout planned in advance because I cannot stand wasting time in the gym trying to figure out what I want to do next. I looked into a few from the Men’s Health Fitness site but I either didn’t like how they split the exercises, or I wasn’t nearly in good enough shape to tackle the more interesting ones — that was a blow to the ego.
After an annoying amount of searching, my best friend “Big C” (who I’m sure was ready to slap me by this point) found a solid 2-day split workout for me on Bodybuilding.com. It’s essentially chest+back+shoulders+abs on the first day, biceps+triceps+legs on the second, then the third is typically taken off but I’m looking to make it a cardio day. Then a variation of the whole thing gets repeated for days 4-6 with the seventh day reserved as the rest day.
I’ve been doing that for the past couple of weeks and I’m finally starting to settle into it.
It also helps that I’ve finally settled on a workout app for iPhone too. ;^)
I tested a handful of less expensive ones hoping one would fit my workout to a “T”. Most of them were decent in terms of functionality with a few standing out: All-in Fitness ($1.99 CDN), Full Fitness ($2.99 CDN), and the Men’s Health Fitness app ($1.99 CND). I played with these three for a while but never really felt any of them “just worked”. They all had little quirks about them that required me to fiddle with them more than I’d have liked. AND, and this is a big “AND”, none of their exercise libraries had all the ones that were in my workout, which I assumed were fairly standard.
Well, like I said, I tested a fair amount if the less expensive ones but didn’t find that perfect fit. And so, I looked to the more expensive ones — one in particular, to be more precise.
I had been eying PumpOne’s Fitness Builder app for a while but it’s $10 (CND) and that’s generally more than I’m willing to drop on an app without being able to test it first. Plus, it has a lower rating than cheaper ones listed above: three stars at the time of writing this. The others have four stars, four and a half stars, and four stars, respectively. So, needless to say, I kept looking elsewhere. However, after a while of not yet being able to settle on an app, I went searching for video samples of Fitness Builder’s interface and functionality. The first one had me sold and the others just reinforced that feeling.
PumpOne’s Fitness builder app has, what I would consider, all the great features of all of the solid workout/fitness apps out there: extensive exercise and workout libraries with images and video samples, progress tracking for weight and reps, rest timers for between sets, custom workout builders, etc. On top of those features, the first thing I fell in love with was that it INCLUDES ALL OF THE EXERCISES FROM MY WORKOUT! Pretty stellar first impression. ;^)
Regardless, even if it didn’t, Fitness Builder allows you to add custom exercises to the library with the ability to add support photos right n the app. Sweetness? I think so.
Another great feature is that it allows you to schedule your workouts and will even sync them to your iOS calendar so you can plan around them without having to check the app.
The rest timer is one of my favourite “little” things in this app. Most fitness apps have them but either the numbers are too small or you can’t do anything else in the app while you wait. With Fitness Builder’s timer, the numbers are small but it has a brightly coloured band that visually counts down your rest so you don’t have to pay attention to the numbers at all.
Additionally, you can log your previous set and browse through various other sections in the app to prepare for following exercises. :^D
I know this app probably has a gazillion other features I have yet to discover but for now, what I do know is that Fitness Builder does everything I like from the other apps, and does everything else I currently want it to.
All that praise aside, there is one thing that does bug me probably way more than it should: a good portion of the text and graphics are high enough resolution for iPhone 4’s Retina Display the rest is not. Seriously? How hard is it to up-sample all of your images at the same time? Sigh. Can’t win ’em all, I guess.
Now, I guess all I have to do it take my “before” photo. OH WAIT! The app does THAT too. :^P