Remember that resolution you made at the first of the year to lose weight and get into shape? Developer Bryan Dulaney’s FitPulse is a sort of personal trainer that aspires to help you get your butt into gear.
Start out with a “Fitness Blueprint” that enables you to customize the app to create your workout program. Enter your name, age and other info and select from among Beginner, Average, Advanced fitness levels. Next, choose your goals: Weight Loss, Muscle Gain and Health & Energy, and finally, Training Days.
From then on, it’s a matter of getting with the program. You can work on your fitness dynamically, which consists of randomly shuffling through up to 225 exercises, and doing the recommended number of sets and reps. There’s an exercise timer to keep you on track. The other option is to exercise according to a plan you create based on your objectives, whether it’s to lose weight or build muscle.
If losing weight is your goal, you’ll have to input food items, calories, fat content and more. That’s a task more tedious than lifting a 60-pound block of cement, if you ask me. It would have been a huge plus if this app already had a database of food items, even a small one, as a starting point.
FitPulse also records your workouts and stores your history for review. There’s also a weight tracker that you use to set goals and track your progress.
This app is similar in many ways to Medical Productions’ iFitness ($1.99) and Anywise Enterprise’s Gym Buddy ($2.99) and I recommend checking out those too before you buy a workout app. iFitness, for instance, not only tells you what exercises to do, it visually shows you how to do it.
What makes FitPulse unique is that it uses Open Feint, an open platform from Aurora Feint that developers can use to add social networking and community features to their mobile apps. It's optional, but if you choose to use Open Feint then you can chat any friends have FitPulse too, access the leaderboard, get involved with FitPulse "challenges" or send updates using Facebook and Twitter.
If you're the sociable type or want some virtual accountability, these bonus features make FitPulse stand out from the crowd.
FitPulse seems like a good idea, especially for the $1.99 price tag, but I’m skeptical about whether it can get the job done. The interface is confusing and, without videos or a food database, I suspect some people will burn more calories using it than exercising with it. FitPulse might be a good fit for people that don't need to track their eating habits and thrive on a bit of friendly competition.