There’s no denying it, mankind is currently in the midst of a digital age. There is technology involved in every single aspect of our daily lives including exercise. That brings me to a website called Fitocracy. I installed this app on my iPhone last year but only started using it regularly in the past couple months; and now it’s become an indispensable part of my fitness regime. Fitocracy is a social networking game for people who like (or have) to exercise. There are free iPhone and Android mobile apps that connect to your profile on their website. You log in and track your workouts. When the workout is submitted to the site, you get points and enough of those allow you to level up. Naturally, the more often you work out and do exercises with increased difficulty, will lead to more points.
What if you don’t have a routine?
One of the ways you can earn points is by completing quests. These are set routines or milestones like completing a triathlon, running a race distance (5K, 10K or marathon), skiing for 60 mins or something as simple as 100 push-ups. There are many for you to try with just about any form of exercise. With Fitocracy, any exercise is worth points. If you find a routine that you really like, you can save it under “Your Routines” on the site and the app.
What about your workouts with DVD’s?
Ah, now you’ve hit on a major reason why I hadn’t used Fitocracy very much. Most of my non-running workouts were based on a DVD. In order to get points, I would have to create a routine using their list of exercises. The problem is that a lot of DVD’s contain unique exercises that the trainer invented. If something you do isn’t listed on Fitocracy, then you can’t get track or get points for it.
Can it track exercise equipment?
As a Bowflex Extreme owner, I was disappointed to find that despite the product’s popularity, its exercises aren’t on Fitocracy. However, if you have a cable, Smith machine or V bar, then you’re set. Treadmills, bikes, elliptical trainers, rowing and stair machines are also acceptable. There are also extensive lists of sports, dance and martial arts you could track. It’s a bit weird that “Yard Work” falls under the Dance category but at least it’s there. Taking the stairs instead of the elevator is in there too. You’ve just got to take a little time and explore.
Wait, it’s not free?
It’s free to start, but you can pay $4.99 per month ($44.99 annually) to become a Hero. The subscription allows access to additional features like weekly insights, private messaging and duels with fellow Fitocrats, etc. As an avid user, this isn’t too bad but if you’re just trying it out, then I suggest that you hold off until you’re really committed to this community. Very much like another site that I use called DailyMile, Fitocracy encourages you to follow other users for encouragement, advice and healthy competition. I’ve actually made friendly connections this way, but always err on the side of caution about how much personal information is shared. Mind you, there’s nothing wrong with using the free version. It’s completely up to you.
Where’s the motivation exactly?
The website’s Knowledge section is exactly that. Helpful articles on everything from easy recipes, work out advice from professional trainers and most importantly Member Spotlights and Transformations. Many of these folks started using Fitocracy on a whim and have not only stuck with it, but seen a real, positive change in their lives like Drivendisciplin and Lillie.
Working out is work, and the hardest work has the biggest reward. However, it can also be fun and above all Fitocracy is fun. For example, running is described as “Put one foot in front of the other. Repeat quickly.” The instructions for plank jacks ends with, “Repeat until your trainer allows you to die.” You will want to try new exercises, routines and challenge your friends. Besides, racking up points and bragging rights, while making your body better doesn’t sound like a bad plan at all.
Check out Fitocracy on the web and via social media:
- Facebook: http://facebook.com/fitocracy
- Twitter: http://twitter.com/fitocracy
- Tumblr: http://fitocracy.tumblr.com/
- Instagram: http://instagram.com/fitocracy/
- Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/fitocracy/
- Google+: https://plus.google.com/+fitocracy/
If you do decide to become a Fitocrat in the Fitocracy, come find me 1opinionated and we can play together.