Okay, so here we go, day 1 of my GymFu experiment. The setup is pretty straight forward. When you open up any of the 4 apps Gymfu offers, you’re welcomed to a Home screen. If its you’re first time using the app, you have a welcome message to read, and if you don’t read it and close the app, the app shows a 1 on it similar to Facebook and your email icons, which leads me to believe that this screen will be a place to receive update messages and such from GymFu.com. Also on this screen will be a graph showing your progress, something that won’t show until you’ve had at least 2 days worth of training on the apps.
When you go to create your account, you may either create a new account or given the option to simply connect your GymFu account with your Twitter account, which is what I did. When I did this, I was automatically set to follow @GymFu, and a few moments later, was sent a direct message from GymFu giving me my username, which was based off my twitter name, and a password, which you can easily change from the accounts settings screen. This was a one time event. After creating my GymFu account on the first app, when I went to setup my accounts on the other 3 apps, and they recognized I already had an account to sync with.
Also on the screen, you have selections of the Home screen, Training, Battle Mode (where you can challenge other people) and Leagues (haven’t really looked into this yet, will later on)
When you go into the training, before you can start using the app as its intended, you have to go through 4 sections: All about you exercise, All about ‘Fu’, Practice and first test. I’m actually impressed with this as it tells you the proper way to do the exercise your ‘Fu’ is for (squats, pushups, pull-ups, and crunches.), along with giving visuals as to how you should position your phone, either with your hands or using a sports band (for pushups and pullups). After you’ve be given the walkthrough, you test your ability to understand what the app has told you with a practice run, if you pass the practice run, you get to go to your first test, where it asks you to do as many reps as you can, as to gauge where your first real day of training should start..
Day 1 I zipped through using the squats and crunches, but today with the pushups and pullups, I have to use my make shift sports strap, and I’m unsure of how it will hold up. As I already have my account created, I just have to sync these two apps with my already created GymFu account, go through the introductions and instructions, and its away we go!
To be fair to testing these apps for 30 days, I felt like doing everything they suggest. One suggestion you’re given while going through the welcome screens is that you should rest 48 between training sessions, so I’ve split my time between the four apps. Day 1 will be crunches and squats, Day 2 will be pushups and pullups, Day 3 will be resting, and I will follow that pattern for the 30 days.
I was honestly unsure of how the apps would work, but after using them I’m fairly impressed. I started with the crunches, which has you hold your phone to your chest, pointed down, with both hands. The program requires you to raise your shoulders to a 30 degree angle. If you do not raise up high enough, its only counted as “half” and if you go through your reps too quickly, then you’re called to slow down. Its not that bad and after once or twice you get the motion and speed down fairly easily. The program splits your training into 5 sets of varying numbers of sets. After each set, you’re given a 2 minute break, which you can choose to bypass or you can sit there and wait. Which, with the small numbers I got started with, I zipped right through the resting periods, except for the last set, which has you do a set number of reps, but then you do as many as you can.
I started with crunches, and once I got accustomed to using the app, it was smooth going. I actually messed up somewhat on the test and the beginning, trying to slide the bar notifying I was done, rather then sit still until the app registered me as complete. Basically the way it works is you push ‘Start” on your phone, get settled into and stay in the start position, once the phone registers this and registers you as remaining still, it will begin to count, once you have completed your reps and stay still for a few seconds, the app registers you as complete. My first rep, I got called on for “Half!” but after that it was smooth sailing. And it wasn’t bad having to hold my phone against my chest either.
Squats gave me a little more trouble at the beginning. The app suggests that you can either put your phone in your front pants pocket or using a sports strap. Unfortunately I do not have a strap yet, but I tried to make one, with a small amount of success. After being called on for “half” for most of my reps in
the first step, because it wasn’t registering my thighs being in the proper position, I switched from the strap to my phone in my pocket, which surprisingly worked very very well! The best part about this for me is that it works so well in your pocket, you could easily do the squat exercises at work or somewhere other then home if you wanted.
Well, after the first day, I’m impressed with how the apps works, the motion detection and direction were much better then I was expecting. Although the number of reps were not as high as I was expecting or liked, part of that probably stems from me learning the apps functions as I went and being too stubborn to retake the tests. Overall, first day impressions are A’s all around. For an exercise app on your phone, you couldn’t ask for me. I realize this is somewhat a quick zip through, but as I continue to use the apps, I will elaborate and cover more aspects, but as I just started, I simply wanted to cover the bare basics.