I’ve been sort of half-assed looking at online personal training sites. I’d been considering FitOrbit (and had even purchased a voucher with my Earndit points) and a handful of others, when I received an email newsletter from PureWow describing a new site called Bodbot.com, so I decided to check it out.
The site is well-designed – I have yet to experience slow load times, crashes, or other errors, and is visually attractive, as well, with a design that manages to be both Zen and sexy at the same time. It is also blessedly advertisement-free (at least as of this writing).
The basic free membership gives you access to a full selection of workouts that are based on your input for a comprehensive list of fitness tests that are part of your initial profile setup. In addition, you also will need to identify your training goal and whether you want to work out your entire body or focus on specific muscles. You’ll be asked about your gender, age, height and current weight, and what equipment you have available (both at home and at the gym, if applicable). Tell the “bot” how often you want to work out – what days and how much time you have available. You can set preferences as to how hard you want to work, how hard you’ve trained in the past, and exercises you don’t like. Finally, there are a series of questions that equate to your fitness test – these are used to determine the most appropriate workout routines for your current capabilities. I’ve found that, by filling out all of this information as accurately and honestly as possible, I’m given workout routines that are challenging for me without being so difficult that I cannot complete them – something that I haven’t experienced previously, even when working with a live, in-person, certified trainer.
As you complete sets and reps of an exercise, you simply click “I did it!” on the site (or on the Android or iPhone apps, which are just as well-designed and Zen-sexy as the site), and the workout is added to your history and incorporated into the algorithm that gives you future workouts. If you skip one, the site is nicely non-critical:
If you’re like me (immensely self-critical), you’ll find this of great benefit. I find that it’s helping me to forgive myself for those missed workouts that are, for most of us, a fact of life.
Bodbot is refreshingly free of the social networking aspect that is becoming more and more prevalent in health, diet, and fitness sites these days – I don’t know about you, but I don’t have time to send motivating messages to folks on yet another site. However, each time you complete a workout, a motivational quote is posted to each user/member’s feed. If you want to support a new member, or send motivation to someone who has not logged in for a while, you can do so by simply clicking a button. There is a feature where you can search for other members, but it is simply used for challenging them to a selection of workout-related objectives.
There is also a paid, “Plus” membership available – this gets you additional fitness tests and analysis tools, and gives you access to new features before they are fully released – you will have input into what works on the site, and what doesn’t. This Plus membership is available at $10 per month, but is not necessary to fully benefit from the tools available.
The founders of the site, Edward Laux, and Sergio Prado, have both brought their own personal fitness journeys to bear in the development of the site – from both ends of the spectrum. Edward “grew up obese as a youth”, while Sergio was “massively underweight". Both have realized impressive success in their fitness goals, and have decided to pay it forward by sharing their knowledge with others. They are also extremely responsive – if you reply to a message from the site, you should expect to hear from one of them personally to answer your inquiry.
One thing that I’m not quite clear on is the reason behind the earning of points and achieving levels, although I’m sure that there is some plan in the works for this feature. The company is, after all, a start-up that is currently financed primarily through Fundable.com. In fact, there is a current promotion – for a $60 contribution, you can have a Plus membership for life. Of course, I have to give the standard disclaimer – this is, once again, a startup, so there is no guarantee as to how long that “life” might last. I’m pretty confident, though, that the program will be successful if the right folks get notification of it.
And, right now, I’ve got not one, but TWO of these lifetime memberships to give away – here are the deets:
a Rafflecopter giveaway