Because I'm a sucker for a good (and equally important Free!) app for just about all things I'm going to review my journey with FitStar. I saw it pop up in my exercise/tech news feed the other day and I love the concept. I'm always recommending apps for all sorts of behavioral change and this one has potential for a person to sustain for the long haul because it adjusts to you automatically without some personal trainer yelling at you.
Not affiliated with FitBit, but I do own a Surge. I'm mostly deciding to have an ongoing review to log my workouts and discuss exercise with anyone interested. If I don't...the wheels fall off pretty quickly.
So if you have it, have questions about my experience, want to chat about exercise in general...let's do it.
In general the app claims to be intuitive and challenge you based on logged performance. A personal trainer in your pocket. Sounds amazing! ::hears wife snicker after whispering 'or a terrible porno.'::
You start with a fit test. About 6 minutes and then apparently it will off you a few workouts to challenge you appropriately given your performance and fitness goals.
So for example you might get a typical workout, one to challenge your cardio capacity a bit more, one to challenge strength, or balance, etc and you select the appropriate one. You'll log your reps or times and the app will offer workouts for tomorrow based on today's performance. It will even tell you to take rest days. I think it is even supposed to say ..." look buddy you've done hard core leg workouts 3 days in a row, chill so you can recover." You also have the option to pick preloaded workouts that target various muscle groups or cardio or balance/flexibility.
On the surface the free content looks great and fairly substantial. I'm pretty sure it will bottom out right as I get hooked so I pay the $70/a year or whatever the subscription fee is. But I don't plan to do that. I'm as good as anyone at falling off the workout wagon.
Decent test. Consists of plank push-ups, mountain climbers, swimming supermans, diagonal lunges, pike push-ups, leg lifts
You log your reps and times (i.e. How long could you keep tempo for the mountain climbers?) and the rate is it was too easy, just right, or too hard.
The workouts suggested after the challenge range from 22 to 38 minutes. I like the duration. I tend to prefer 30 mins top to workout because ... life. The workouts are also bodyweight focused which I also love. There is a general one, one to challenge you more, extra cardio, an extra 10 mins of balance work, strength challenge, and a "strong variety". I'll report back after day one.
Decided to go with "strong variety". It was 38 minutes and that's about how long the Criminal Minds I DVR'd was. Solid workout. It was pretty much spot on. I made four small adjustments.
I like that it has a playlist (if you select it) but it made it hard to hear Rossi in a few parts of the show and I was too lazy to go into the settings to change it mid-workout. I did need two pieces of "equipment" this time. A chair or table for dips and a door jab for single arm rows. Program builds in rest time and covered cardio and a full body workout.
I do think it'll be great; however, am thinking the reps and time is all that changes. I'll find out for sure tomorrow, but seems like if I did strength variety again it would be the exact same exercises but slight changes in reps× from what feedback I made. Not a terrible thing since there are 4-5 different ones. Cycling through will give decent variety. I'm sure the paid subscription offers much more to keep from getting bored. Yet, the free version is good after day 1.
So that one sucked, but in a good way. 35 minutes of "Mudder Mayhem". Designed to challenge you in ways to prep for a tough mudder if has lots of side lunges, mountain climbers, etc. things to tweak stabilizing muscles like twisting mountain climbers and Spider-Man push-ups. Again, it was pretty good at setting rep and time ranges consistent with my initial test baseline. It did drop them significantly from yesterday, but there were three cycles of the exercises so lower ranges due to higher overall volume was needed.
Looking through more of the settings...FYI the playlists are only free until the end of March. It comes with the paid subscription though. They offer 5-6 stations. Hmm. Hopefully they don't take away some exercise options then too.
Finished the 21 minute get moving workout. Solid twenty minutes...although it just loaded "greatest workout ever" as an option now. I considered taking tomorrow off, but best ever? Perhaps I'll be working out again. Na, I'll take it easy tomorrow. I have a morning workout with some intense people Weds and could use the rest day. My ass is killing me. I love to hate step ups (needed something to step up on for this workout, but that's it). I used our bench the kids sit on for dinner. Well actually no one sits on it. DS1 prefers a "big person chair" and the littler guy insists that he sit on the table to eat.
I'm liking the music selection offered. Not enough to buy the app based on that feature, but I think I'll miss getting tips/encouragement and hear music at the same time. I think I'll probably pull Alexa (Amazon Echo) out to garage to listen to music after March.
Workout for tomorrow morning was cancelled so I decided to do the 18 minute get moving session tonight while DW took a bath. Basically a 3 min warm up followed by about 15 mins of push up variations. Tomorrow I anticipate my arms, shoulders, and tris to feel as sore as my ass does today. Push-ups, dips (need a chair(s)), dive bombers, pike push ups, one legged push-ups, one legged pikes, and burpees.
This one totally challenged my stamina for shoulder and tricep endurance. I would have just made all the reps (I think) but came up short a number of times due to the toddler vest that randomly jumped on my back. Once he started, I couldn't do a push-up with out him climbing on. Dive bombers were damn near impossible but my stabilizers were given a great workout as I had to go extra slow so he wouldn't fall off. Good for time under tension?...really just an annoyance. Lol.
Didn't use the music playlist because DS1 wanted to listen to Kidz Bop 33 through Alexia. FFTC...I'm a huge fan!
I got that troll choreography down for "Can't Stop That Feelin'."
Skipped a workout yesterday. Rough day so, I opted for brownies and Bourbon! Today, I supported a friend at work and attended her yoga class. We've been trying to get it off the ground for a while and I think we have a core group of 5 people attending for 45minutes over lunch once a week. Got home and did a 20 minute workout with FitStar. It hit the same place as today's yoga session...core (hip dips, scissor kicks, crunches, wipers) back (supermans, prone rows, reverse planks), and some cardio for good measure (butt kicks, sprinting in place, jumping jacks).
I clicked to see what's on deck for tomorrow and apparently I've exhausted the number of workouts I can do in a week. The app is mostly locked except for two shorter workouts. If you pay you get unlimited workouts. I think that's incentive for me not to buy it though. Forced test isn't a bad thing. Plus, I'm itching to run a race in April and this way I can run a few days a week and spread out the FitStar workouts.
We'll see if I progress to new levels next week. Each muscle group and then cardio has various levels and based on your reps/time you progress through them.
Instead of taking that day off, I did one of the two workouts that weren't locked. It was based on military PT. At least that's what it claimed. I will say most of the workouts are consistent with military physical training on that they are a mix of bodyweight and cardio movements.
The free version is the "get moving" series. The premium will unlock a few other plans that include "get lean" and "get strong". The extra couple workouts that pop up in the feed are selected from those in an attempt to get you to buy them. They are a good change of pace. Slated for today...I'm going to do a fairly cardio heavy workout instead of the "treasure chest" workout from the "get strong" program.
It's still a pretty solid app. I'm. It sure if the workouts I'm doing outside of the "get moving" program count against my weekly free ones. I just checked the app to see the bane of it and two of the locked options just updated from an hour ago. I really hope this pace in updates doesn't change after March (when the music fades and presumably other perks/teasers go away)
Took yesterday off instead. Here is today's workout. I figure if I post it I'll guilt myself into doing it. Plus it gives you an idea of the workouts. It'll very based upon your starting point and the adjustments you make. I started with "active" or "athletic" I forget the labels.
Yeah that sucked. I appreciated her encouragement..."Drop your leg slowly, landing softly like a ninja". Hella yeah I want to be a ninja. Lol! "You're going to love this move (burpee tuck jumps)...when you're done with it." After finishing most of the harder exercises in the group..."Can't stop! Won't stop". Followed by "get it! Get it!" In my head. Good times today. DS1 even put down his X-Box controller to do some mountain climbers and a couple butlers next to me for support. Admittedly, his initial excitement in recognizing a movement quickly faded and resulted in "I don't want to do this anymore(like I forced him to do the worst thing on the planet)". Ok buddy I appreciate the support, but I didn't twist your arm to joining me.
New sessions for "get moving" just arrived. I'm going to skip the get moving sesh and opt for "runtencity". It's cardio movement focused (i.e. Burpees, mountain climbers, running in place, skaters, squat jumps, etc. with some core work mixed in for working rest periods.
Today was day one for DW and the 6.0 BBM. I'm her accountability partner and 5.0 was pretty solid for us. So, we crushed the fit test together. She's headed to the movies with the big guy; little guy is down for a nap so I'm skipping my run in favor of the aforementioned "runtensity". I'll report back later...vacuuming, working out, then popping some "monster cookies" in the oven.
Foiled yet again. Didn't do the workout yesterday. Little man napped for like 60 mins. Enough time to get the laundry done. He woke up and I carried him around to vacuum and make these "monster cookies" for DS1 who refuses to eat them. LO slept while carried though. Poor guy has a cold. Was going to workout after the big one went down tonight, but he's back up.
Currently rocking in a chair. If I don't get a workout in tonight and he's still not sleeping well tomorrow...toddler squats until he falls asleep. Between birth and about a year that was basically my workout. Hope to give you a review of runtencity tomorrow. It's weird seeing so many views and just me "talking". Do people actually care what I type or are you all just bored out of your minds? Either way...writing randomness here keeps the keyboard clacking and my poetry and other creative writing flowing.
So haven't used the app recently, but got a different workout and a run logged into Fitbit this week. The line up of sessions/exercises for them changed based on entering a 3 mile run and yoga. Hoping to resume tomorrow. I figured the app only calibrated based on app usage but its pretty cool that it examines all Fitbit logged exercise.
Logged two workout with the app today. The "get moving" 20 minute one and because it kicked my ass, I did the 11 minute "warm up" as a cool down.
Get moving - kicked my ass because it was tough and I'm sick. But I felt worse not having workout out so pushed through the man cold. Felt good during and now that I'm not moving around my head is getting congested again.
The 2 minutes of high knees, 2 minutes of tuck jumps, with burpees, alternating back lunges and two other lunging movements were tough. Oh and the 90 seconds of jump squats were a nice touch 🙄. Needless to say my legs were spent. Today also focused on shoulders and tris: elevated shoulder presses, pike presses, handstand holds, and dips. I like how the various muscle groups are rotated with their workouts. It's sometimes hard to do with a pure bodyweight program without over training something. But the exercises are creative and well put to put together IMO.
Warm up aka my cool down - was good. Very yoga and dynamic stretching focused. Inch worms, toy soldiers, triangle pose, pigeon, etc. ended with jumping jacks which as a cool down got my heart rate back up a bit, but helped to shake out my legs and shoulders which helped.
So far, still liking it a lot. I may start to opt for two of them some days. Not that they aren't intense enough, but I'm struggling to log miles with my schedule and the extended cardio aspect has been my go to for half marathon training when I can't fit a traditional run day in.
"Got moving" today. Chest, abs, back. With a move I've never done before that was great for upperback (hit muscles similar to a dumbbell row) and made me realize how weak my rear delts are. They call it a downward facing snow angel. Think superman, but extend arms overhead and sweep them as wide as you can then bringing them in toward (or is it towards 🤔) your thighs, then back overhead. I got all the reps, but not with as much time under tension as the model. Engages back, rear shoulder, abs, glutes, hamstrings. I like the models for reference because a) they help me be mindful of form and b) they switch out each exercise so if I'm struggling I feel better think "they are fresh off a rest. I've done three exercises since they did those burpees 5 mins ago"...lol. Whatever keeps a person motivated I guess.
The cardio portions killed me. I couldn't do them for the total time on the second sequence of exercises. More tuck jumps 🙄. My quads might have made it but my chest and throat...no way. My throat is on fire now but it hurts to swallow water. DW warned me the toddler's cold was brutal.
Was diagnosed with an upper respiratory infection and sinus infection Monday. Skipped working out most of the week. Did do the next "get moving" last night. It did recalibrate some exercises with extra rest. I looked at the line up Tuesday and there was some changes by Thursday. Don't remember what they were.
Focus was the same. Legs and core. It was fairly brutal: Twisting mount climbers, v-ups, leg lift with crunch, one legs and two legged wall sits, warrior 3 with kickback. Running in place, scissor kicks, good times. New exercises, one arm spider mans sucked. Think one arm push-up position and then bring one leg up to you elbow (of your down arm). Crazy stability and oblique exercise.
That used up my workouts for the week in the set. The "extra" ones changes. There is a 20 min one I'll try tomorrow. Took today off so we'll see what it looks like when I get up.
Yesterday, I worked-out with W and this morning discovered FitStar Yoga. Did the intro session and it won't let me click "done". Not sure if the two apps integrate with one another or if you go for the $40 premium membership you get both. One of the Fitbit pages makes it sound like you do get both and the other sounds like they each have a separate fee. Both are linked to your Fitbit account so I'm thinking you get both. 🤔 that might entice me pay for the annual membership. Then again, I might download it on kiddo's iPad and just use both accounts to get twice the workouts for the same low price of...Free!
First yoga sesh was good. Same idea click how difficult poses were and I'll construct routines of poses with more or less difficulty and duration you hold each pose. With premium you can focus on flexibility, relaxation, and strength.
For my goals, I think $40 a year (if you get both) is a steal. But I'm not there yet.
Oh and the tag line in yoga...instead of "can't stop won't stop" is "roll gently side to side or do what ever feels good". 😜
Just deleted and downloaded yoga again. Fixed the problem. A new 20 min session populated. W woke up after I did the intro and a 5 minute "wake up" meditation with DS1. She invited me to do yoga with her. We "woke up" with Adrienne. It was a combo of my first 20 mins of yoga and meditation. Pretty goodmorning. I hope to do the 20 workout I had planned for during DS2's nap after he goes to bed. It's that or the 7 minute one. They locked up way more options this week. I'm guessing you are limited to just test driving a few sessions of strength, balance, etc.
By the time I got my workout in, new "get moving" session was loaded. Dear God, I don't think it figured in my lower scores and time off. I didn't even do the last exercise. 20 minutes of push up variations, ab/cardio (i.e. Plank jacks, mountain climbers, etc), dips..oh my! The app even had a glitch during the middle rest period. The background music played fine, but the rest screen froze and I had to delete the app and reload from the cloud to fix it. Just like I did for yoga this morning. The extra rest between still wasn't enough.
In doing so it picked up right where it left off so that was cool. This time new exercises were rolled in. Difficulty was increased with fewer reps. So if you are looking for gaining strength and not just stamina should work. I mean it definitely should in the strength module, but even this one has strength gaining facets to it.
Oh and I did find confirmation. You need to get separate subscriptions to the trainer and yoga. Bastards! Thought it was too good to be true. I guess $80 for unlimited personal training and yoga sessions right at home can't be beat. ---Shit I think I'm starting to talk myself into buying a freakin $40 app...maybe two of them. Then again I bought a year of Headspace...hopefully these start sending me 20% off emails too.
Missed a couple posts. Monday and Tuesday were good. Weds, I didn't use the app but logged an "exercise" session via my surge. Unfortunately it changed my access to some modules. I still haven't done the strength/cardio I've been looking to try out. But it is cool that it takes any Fitbit logged workout into account whether it's through the app or not.
My 24 mins of increased heart rate was enough to switch out the cardio focused sessions. They did come back this morning after taking Thursday and Friday off. Weds workout was pulled from Pinterest I'll post it next. A colleague picked it for a group workout.
My heart goes out to all the Ellens, Allens, Elliotts, Mellissas, Ellies, etc. more than 60 second wall sits duck, but 6 minutes? You can at least pace a bunch of burpees, but breaking wall sits into 5-10 second chunks is a lot of work. I bailed on 2min ones and struggled through 1min.
Ok so it's been awhile...still at it (the workout out game) though. But I've used up all the free adaptive modules for the "get moving" program. Once you do that you can still do some of the other workouts, they just aren't adaptive. You can also pluck various one timers directly off the Fitbit app.
I'm not going to purchase the app. At least not yet. I typically do similar workouts and would basically be paying for motivation which I'm still hanging on to at the moment. I give it another three to four weeks before I seriously consider it.
Overall I really like FitStar. Motivation...check. Keeps it challenging...check. Variation...check.
The different types of programs vary from 2-6 workouts per week. They vary the amount of cardio and offer slight variations that are "more challenging." Overall...good stuff.
And...there it is. Haven't worked out in 3 weeks. At least not consistently. Once here and again there. I'm close to buying this freakin thing. Only thing holding me back for a few more days is weather. I want to do a baseline workout that is a mix of strength and cardio that I'd prefer to do outside than on an indoor track. I have a co-worker who wants to do the same baseline for a different program he's starting so maybe I'll get it done Thursday or Friday with him and start this weekend.
So, I recently bought a Fitbit Ionic. It took about 3 months of thinking and going back and forth with customer service. I was pissed that two surges broke and since they no longer make them (because they know of the design flaw) the best they could do was a discount on the Ionic. I didn't want to pay that much for something I didn't need. I could get all the features I want with a less expensive Garmin (even with their small discount). But, I love the step challenges I am in with friends from across the country and those Fitbit bastards no longer allow the Fitbit app to work with Garmin (I get it, branding, etc...). So after a ton of back and forth and "you sucks" tossed in there. I got an Ionic at a pretty steep discount, a free sports band, and free shipping. I did spring for the 2 year warranty because well...see shoddy craftsmanship of the Surge mentioned above.
Anyway...I just got an email that newer Fitbit purchasers get a 90 day free trial of Fit Coach...I need to get it by next Weds. Which I plan to do. I"m currently on the tailend of a diet bet, ending on the 31st so I'll subscribe for my 90 days then to keep the motivation going. I'm totally gong to win my bet plus $5-$7...I'm going to use that to sign up for a race in March (I"m motivation rich at the start of this year :c) )
I'll review the app for the 90 days and let you all know how the Ionic works with it. FitCoach has the workout directly on the watch display which will be great. It was a bit distracting to have to look over at my phone or move my phone with each exercise. #1stworldfitnesstrackerproblems.
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