Key lime pie aside, I’m constantly searching for tools to motivate me to workout and lead a healthier life. I don’t usually recommend apps on this blog, but I recently discovered this free app and website called, Fitocracy. I had been using Map My Run for a while, but I felt it was kind of lacking. I liked the calendar and GPS aspects, but in order to get to the cool bells and whistles, you have to pay.
I discovered Fitocracy through Tumblr fitness blogger, Back on Pointe (you should check her out too). Fitocracy is an online fitness social network and it uses gamification to induce users (or Fitocrats as they’re called on the site) to workout. You gain points for every activity that you track and level up. On the site, the founders Brian Wang and Richard Talens write that they thought that the “addiction games create was the same exact addiction that drives their fitness efforts every day.” I’m a bit of a gamer too, so this great motivation for me.
There are also quests and challenges to motivate you as well. For example, I’m working on the “Push the Earth” quest which consists of a minimum number of lunges, squats, pushups and jump squats that you need to complete in a single day. There’s no prize at the end, except feeling good and healthy. Oh yeah, and being awesome.
As far as the social aspect, you can follow other Fitocrats and join special groups. My favorite group is Couch to 5K, which is based on some apps with a similar name (I use the 5K Runner app). In the group, members update everyone on their program status and they can also give other members “props” on their progress and notes of encouragement. It’s really inspiring and positive!
The site is less about weight loss and more about being healthy. Plus, I found that you earn more points for strength training than you do for cardio. It makes sense too, since studies have shown that adding strength training to your fitness routine boots your metabolism more than cardio. You may burn more calories initially while huffing and puffing on an elliptical machine, but you’ll burn more calories overall through lifting weights. I know that for me, I have always looked and felt better after I’ve been on a consistent strength training plan. Also, as I get older, I know I’m losing muscle mass, so this helps combat it.
The site has been rapidly gaining members too. As of March 2013, there are already one million Fitocrats – it’s a revolution! If you’re looking for a fitness tracking tool, I definitely recommend this site and app.
*P.S. This is not a sponsored post.