Fitbod uses AI to build your workouts, but it’s got some great tricks up its sleeve, too.
It’d be fair to say that there are a lot of fitness apps on the App Store, and that’s no bad thing – fitness apps, like workout and diet plans, aren’t a “one size fits all” affair. There are a lot of nuances, whether you’re working out daily, or grabbing a few minutes when you can.
Enter Fitbod, an app that has been gaining a steady reputation in the fitness community, and one we recommended as part of our look at integrating tech into a weightlifting routine.
Workout apps, particularly those that help you formulate new workout regimens as is the case with Fitbod, are best tested when you’re moving from the comfort zone of one workout regime to what comes next. With that in mind, I took the plunge to see if Fitbod could help me, a regular gymgoer, divorce myself from “Bro” splits and move to an “Upper/Lower” plan.
Note: We’re reviewing the Fitbod iOS app, and while it is available on Android, features do differ.
In my week or two using Fitbod, the most impressive thing has always been how easy it is to use. Some apps feel like they require a good few hours to get your data, preferences, and workout types ready for tracking, but Fitbod makes it easy.
From the off, you select the equipment you have available to you to create a gym profile. That means you can switch between them in an instant, with bodyweight-only routines available for those of us that workout at home.
You’ll also enter your goals, with options to toning muscle, improving strength, adding muscle, and more, including powerlifting and Olympic weightlifting practice. I settled on bodybuilding, but you can switch goals at any time.
From here, Fitbod’s AI will build a workout with any muscle groups you want to target, along with various time increments from 15 minutes to an hour and a half. Only have quarter of an hour but want to hit those biceps hard? Select the options and hit save, and your workout plan is done within seconds.
What I particularly enjoyed, as a very task-minded person, is that once you hit the “Start Workout” button you can log each set like a ticklist. This won’t be to everyone’s liking, but for me, it was a great way to feel like I was moving the needle.
Every exercise in the app has a handy demonstration video, too, along with detailed instructions. There’s the option to create supersets, too, and quickly replace exercises with ones that work similar muscle groups – ideal if your gym’s equipment is in use or is otherwise unavailable.
Deeper in the settings, there’s even the option to set up HIIT training using intervals and timers, while many exercises will add a recommended warm-up set or two to help ease you into big sessions. There are cardio recommendations, too, so it’s not all about how much you can lift.
I was particularly impressed by what Fitbod calls “Max Effort Day”, where one of your exercises is highlighted for increased reps. As an example, Max Effort Day fell on a lower split for me, and it pushed me to squat for as many reps as possible on my last two sets.
Sure, we’re always looking to build out a plan that’ll offer gains upon gains, but have you ever considered how your recovery is going? Fitbod puts that information front and center, with the Recovery tab always available at the bottom of the screen.
Opening it will show how fresh your muscles are, helping you plan around the ones you’ve worked already in a given period. Using this, along with the setting to target fresh muscle groups, means you can keep working those muscles that aren’t exhausted already.
Of course, that’s not to say there isn’t tracking of everything else – and it’s here that Fitbod is particularly impressive.
Once you finish a workout, you’ll see a whole host of awards that are kept in the Log tab. This can include your weight record for that exercise, or your rep record, or even calculate a one-rep max (1RM) so you can have a steady figure to watch grow over time.
I particularly came to enjoy the way the app stacks up the volume or everything I lifted in one session, and it became a fun thing to challenge myself to beat. In fact, it can become a communal high score of sorts since you can share the workout in its entirety with friends.
Something I came to love as an avid Strava user for running workouts, though, was the way Fitbod plays nicely with other applications. You can automatically import workouts from Strava, Fitbit, or Apple’s own Fitness app and see it in your activity log.
That’s great in and of itself, but the real draw is the way it can track how those apps have affected muscle groups and factor those in for recovery.
As an example, I couldn’t get to the gym on one day, so went out for a 5K run instead. When I got home and synced by Strava data, it was imported into Fitbod, which instantly logged that my leg muscles had seen some action on that day.
In fact, if I have one complaint it’s that there’s no way to ensure workouts from other apps aren’t factored into the Streaks system – I wish there was more granularity to my workout goal.
In my case, I have it set to four workouts a week, but I’d ideally like that to be just through weight workouts in Fitbod. Right now, it’ll include my leisurely strolls and my running, which is great for all-rounders.
That said, it’s great to have everything included on the Log page.
We’re going to need to update our best fitness apps for Apple Watch page because Fitbod is definitely deserving of a spot.
The Apple Watch counterpart is exactly that – it won’t replace the version on your phone (although it may work fine in a pinch), but it’s an excellent extension of it.
Its utility is really focused on the window where you’re actually working out, so it’s not focused on building routines or viewing your progress. Instead, it tracks where you are in any given workout and lets you log your set quickly.
That means no fumbling for your phone or added distractions, and it’s particularly helpful during supersets where you just want to hit “done” and move on. You can adjust reps and weight on the fly, too.
Fitbod is an excellent exercise app that does a great job at building routines for all kinds of workouts and goals. With great app integrations and a smartly designed Apple Watch app, it really is the best fitness app we’ve found for iOS so far.
Fitbod offers a free download that includes three workouts and tracking. After that, it’ll cost you $12.99 per month, or $79.99 per year.
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