May 10, 2016
I’ve previously written about 7 Minutes Pro – one of my favorite fitness apps – because it moves your muscles in seven minutes of exercise. I love it because I can do it at home without any equipment. Can this be taken to the next level? Yes – and it’s where Updown comes into the picture. While 7 Minutes Pro was designed for those who work out at home, Updown targets users both working out in a gym and at home. And the best of all is that the fitness app works as a virtual private trainer, generating personalized exercises depending on the user’s needs, location, and available equipment.
The complexity of the app is revealed as soon as you sign up. Imagine having a personal trainer but without the cost. You begin the workout by choosing from five different workout types: cardio, strength, core, cross, and stretch. After a workout type is selected, you will be prompted to select your current location, desired workout time, and level of intensity. Alternatively, a user can create a custom workout from scratch.
There are various types of locations: gym, home, and even work, alongside custom locations. Updown goes as deep as allowing you to specify the space’s size and the equipment available – information which will help the virtual private trainer generate a custom workout using its database of over 1,500 exercises and tailored to assist you in reaching your fitness goal.
Based on the chosen workout type and location, Updown will produce a workout you can perform following along with the in-app timer and exercise animation cues. The app will record all workout data and makes it searchable so you can view progress down to a specific exercise.
Interestingly, Updown’s proprietary algorithm parameters, such as reps and weights, are adjusted to the user’s strength levels and will gradually become more challenging so that the user will never hit a plateau, Chris Freise, CEO for Madison-based Updown Technologies, Inc. explained. Another minor but important feature of the app is that if a user hasn’t worked out in a while, the app can automatically adjust to make workouts easier.
Updown’s developers have found a way to keep you motivated: for every finished workout, you will earn tokens that you can spend right in the app on a wide range of gift card options. And these are gift cards you can use in real stores. To do that, the startup has partnered up with various groups in the health and fitness industry.
It has also partnered with various gyms around the country to make its Updown Plus offering available to gym members at a discounted rate. Updown Plus is a premium version of the application that provides access to rewards for exercising and includes enhanced app functionality. For example, you need to be an Updown Plus subscriber to redeem your tokens for gift cards. While the app is a free download and free to use, the premium subscription, Updown Plus, costs $10 per month.
Updown is fun, and I mostly use it when going to the gym, because of the great exercises it includes for equipment I don’t have at home or at work. There is one thing you should note though: Updown can be a battery hog, so if you want to preserve your battery life, you’d better close the app, after using it, because you may end up like me (out of juice half way through the day, without having changed my smartphone habits, and couldn’t understand why). Download Updown for free from the App Store/Google Play.
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