App Review – Fitocracy

So I try not to be addicted to my iPhone, but thus far, I have failed. There are, literally, apps for everything (making your own motivational slideshows, tracking your “cycles,” making fart noises, putting weird stickers on your photos…the list goes on forever), and there are a large number of health and fitness apps with growing popularity.

One app I stumbled upon, Fitocracy, is actually getting some consistent use in my data plan. The Fitocracy app, an iPhone interface for http://www.fitocracy.com/, markets itself as a kind of Facebook for fitness.

You can make friends and join groups, like Facebook, though all of the groups I’m in (CrossFit, Paleo, No Barbie Weights) have active posters, UNLIKE Facebook. After creating a user profile, you can log your workouts in a fairly user-friendly interface.

The list of activities to choose from is extensive, and they continue to add to it. You can also enter your own moves, or, many times, find something comparable. You can search for exercises by muscle group or equipment needed, which is also helpful. I haven’t had much of a problem logging my CrossFit WODs in detail. After submitting your workout, Fitocracy uses a mysterious calculation system to give you a certain number of points (based on intensity, length of workout, cardio versus strength, etc.). Then you…wait for it…LEVEL UP!

Everything is made better with a little leveling and friendly competition. If you get super involved with the app/site, it serves as pretty good motivation. On top of the fun level system, there are also QUESTS to be completed!

Above is a screenshot of some of my completed quests. The completion is based on what you log in your workout (for instance, I did a 5K a few weeks back, and got that bonus 100 points from the “Finally 5K” challenge).

It might seem a little hokey, but there’s many positive to Fitocracy, in my opinion. The main pro is that it’s easy to log workouts without manually typing in every movement and rep. Most of the exercises you can choose from have scalable options where you can enter weight used, whether or not you used assistance, what type of terrain you were running on, etc. This is a luxury not found in many other workout logs I’ve tried. Second, it’s fun to have the social aspects of Facebook in a community of people that actually care about what you’re talking about. The users of Fitocracy are active, always posing questions to their groups, complimenting others on their progress, and sharing knowledge in a collective interface.

Honestly, the only con is that, occasionally, I’m so tired after a workout I forget to log it. Will I use this forever? Probably not. Is it motivating and fun for the time being? Definitely!

If you were to look at my workout log from today, here is what you would see:

1 mile run (10:32)

100 double unders

50 weighted sit-ups (made a valiant effort at 25 lbs. but was down to 10 lbs. by the end of the WOD)

50 v-ups

50 hollow rocks

50 GHD sit-ups

Total time (run included) of 34:32, and a big ol’ ab kicking. I hope no one makes me laugh tomorrow!

Yesterday’s WOD (AKA OWWWWWW!)

Damn, I spent the day trying to recover from yesterday’s killer WOD (killer mostly because I’ve been slacking since I got back from my Midwestern vacation). Here’s how it went down:

Strength Work

-deadlifts, Wendler-style, up to 135 lbs.

WOD

5 rounds for time

– 8 deadlifts (started at 125 lbs., dropped to 115 lbs.)

– 8 ball slams (14 lbs.)

-200 m run

14:13

The running always kills me. Even 200 meters, in muggy heat, just zaps my energy and leaves me sucking air like a fish out of water. Sad. I’m working on getting stronger with my running, but it’s slow slow slow. Really I’m slow slow slow. Overall I was pretty happy with my time, as I wasn’t as far as usual behind the rest of the class. Today, however, I am extremely sore from not lifting ANYTHING for a few weeks.

One of the things I’ve discovered with CrossFit is that you really have to focus on yourself and your personal improvements, rather than comparing yourself against everyone else. This is a goal I’m working on for myself, as I’m always hard on myself when I come in behind other people. The fact of the matter is, I have improved a LOT since I started back in October. I get a lot more compliments on my looks, but even BETTER than that is being able to brag that I can lift 145 lbs. (my deadlift max), when I started at 17 lbs. (a trainer bar and two wooden disks, mostly to learn technique). I have some badass biceps. I feel better about myself. I have more energy and am less stressed. I try to focus on all of these things instead of the fact that I’m 1.5 rounds behind everyone else. Sometimes I am successful. Sometimes not.

How do you keep yourself motivated when you have a hard time seeing your improvements?

The Fittest on Earth

I’ve been hooked on watching the 2012 CrossFit games on ESPN3 this weekend. As soon as I watched yesterday’s events, I immediately regretted my decision to not WOD yesterday (I opted for a walk instead). Watching these people who are my size, sometimes smaller, throw 80 lb med balls around like they’re nothing is incredibly motivating. I’m hoping I can get my shit together in the gym and step it up a notch next week. Not that I plan on becoming a competitive crossfitter, but it’s just such a push to KNOW I can do more.

I’ll reserve my full CrossFit testimony for a future post, for fear of scaring off…any readers that may stumble onto this blog (who am I kidding?).

Post-Vacation Depression

I’m recovering in my quiet home after returning from our Mid-Western vaycay on Monday. We had a gigantic family reunion in Iowa (well, more gigantic than usual), and before spending a few days in the cornfields we wandered around Chicago.

 

Anyways, while I was introducing Shayne to some of my favorite states in the USA, I started thinking (again) about how much I would like to move back there (mainly Chicago area). Could I up and leave my parents and friends and start a new life in a different state? I’d be so much closer to my extended family, and my cousins, which would be great, plus Chicago has even MORE great restaurants than PDX. How do you go about making a decision like that? How could I convince hubby to go along with it? Just something I’m considering.

Other than that, getting back to work hasn’t been as bad as anticipated (knock on wood). It’s hard to think back on those days that I just had summer vacation, with no other worries. What did I DO all day? I can’t even fathom, now that I’m stuck at my desk for 8 hours a day. One of the pitfalls of adulthood I suppose.

Okay, back to brainstorming blog posts that might interest people…