Fitness Coach is a quality app for iPhone and iPad that will suit both novice and experienced exercisers. You can choose from a preset 12-week program or one of dozens of other programs available to target specific concerns. Programs are available for both home and gym environments. The app has good information and the programs are based on solid exercise science (as we know it).
Once you choose a program, a short overview is presented along with a day’s workout session. You can get started right away, or you can go to the calendar view and put it off until a more convenient day. Being able to move workout days has pros and cons, but it is a realistic option since invariably workouts must fit around other obligations.
A 12-week program, for instance, has a listing of all the weeks’ focus areas so you can get a big-picture overview of what to expect. It also shows how you will progress from a beginner mode to more “advanced” workouts over that time.
The actual workout sessions are beautifully done. For instance, in the Chair Stretching Program, you start it up and are asked to choose between ambient music, forest sounds, water sounds, or no sound. Then a video begins to play and it’s your job to follow along, which is easy to do. Between each exercise there is a beep to let you know it’s time to move on. This is really helpful because some of the exercises will have you unable to look at the screen. Simply do what it presented and, in this case, in 10 minutes your workout is complete. The Chair Stretching Program is a great idea for anyone who sits for long periods of time – serious exerciser or not.
Other programs or exercises provide you a description and your choice of an image or a video to be clear on what you should do. There are so many choices of exercises and programs that you’ll be able to find something to suit you no matter what your experience, health, or injury status.
While there are plenty of preset programs to choose from, you can also set up your own to suit the equipment you have available to you or to meet your specific needs/goals. Just don’t spend more time setting up the program than you do exercising! I’d suggest starting with a preset program and building a custom one later, unless you already have a workout routine established.
The one downside to the program is that it doesn’t let you track your efforts. There’s no place to record the actual reps/sets/weights/distance that you did. It assumes you followed the instructions. There’s no documentation of what you’ve done except completed the day’s program. Perhaps there’s some wisdom in that, but data freaks will be a bit frustrated. There is, however, a place to record the benefits of your exercise such as weight and body measurements. This is what counts anyway. Graphs display your progress as your program progresses.
Fitness Coach is a solid exercise program app. The videos are excellently done. The workout interface is also excellent. And the choices and flexibility in workout programs is hard to beat. It looks just as excellent on the iPad as it does on the iPhone. If you want to get moving, this app is hard to beat.
- Pick and choose your own exercises
- Videos are extremely helpful, and nicely done
- Audio beeps between exercises quite helpful as you’re not always able to stare at the screen
- No way to record your actual reps/sets/weights/distances.
- English translation a bit off in places, but fully understandable