I often hear from patients and friends that they are lost when it comes to exercise. What exercises are best? And what about the reps, sets, load, and frequency? They just need a program they say. Someone to tell them what to do. The gym would be the logical place to seek help, but honestly, what mumma has time to go to the gym? The commute, the changing, the shower…it all adds up, and because of this you feel like you need to commit to a solid hour workout, or it really isn't worth the whole process. Option #2, is to work out at home. But this brings us back to our initial problem: what to do? At the gym there are classes, machines and personal trainers to guide you. Even the most exercise challenged mumma can find her way through some machines and get a little sweat on. But, again, what mumma has time for the gym?
Considering almost 70% of gym memberships go unused, it's no wonder people seek alternatives (or do nothing at all - not recommended). There is an overwhelming number of online, or DVD, bootcamp style training programs out there that will tell you what to do for 20 minutes every day. Unfortunately, these high intensity, generic programs SO often leave people injured.
I heard about BodBot a year or so ago, and fell in l-o-v-e with it quickly. Or maybe it was the Lara Croft'esque chick that had me sold (BodBot will "transform you into a cybernetic crime-fighting juggernaut", if you wish).
BodBot is a fully customizable, personal training application (available on the web, and for iPhone and android - so you can always bring it with you to the gym if you do make it). It tailors your program based on the information you provide it - your goals, schedule, current fitness levels, etc. And the neat thing about BodBot is that your exercises change depending on how you are doing. Work hard, and it will adapt your program to meet your new fitness abilities. Miss workouts or have a hard time meeting the current fitness levels and it will scale back to ensure you are working out safely and efficiently. Pretty cool.
BodBot is the brain child of Edward Laux and Sergio Prado, who together with a pretty impressive team of other brainiacs have developed BodBot into a glorious thing. It is currently in Beta (which means there is even more great stuff to come), but all of the necessary bells and whistles are there, without being overwhelming. The basic BodBot is FREE (I know!), but I strongly suggest paying the $10 for the Plus version which allows you to customize your program even more. And if you love BodBot as much as I do, you can help them out by pledging to support them here, so they can continue to make this thing even better.
You should know that BodBot is just something I discovered and love. They have no idea I am loving it here and letting you know about it. Just sharing what I love and think might be helpful!
Here are some of the features that make BodBot so great...
Start by choosing your goal(s) - some are pretty, well unique! You can also let BodBot know what muscles you really want to focus on. I picked Core (you should too), glutes (are other mummas also wondering what happened to their bum/booty/buttock/butt/buns/tush after having a baby?!), and rotator cuff (to keep my shoulders healthy for swimming).
It gets better. You can also let BodBot know your postural issues. This is music to my physical therapists ears! Let BodBot know that you have knock-knees or a tilted pelvis or feet problems, and it will gear your exercises to helping with these issues.
I posted a few weeks ago about breastfeeding back aches and gave you some exercises to try, well you can also let BodBot know that your shoulders are hunched and it will give you some corrective stretches and mobility exercises (who needs me?).
Once you have informed BodBot of all your woes, and given it your current fitness abilities (i.e. can you plank from your toes or knees?), you can let it know what days of the week you want to workout and for how long. You will also let it know what equipment you have - this might be none at all if you are planning on working out of your house.
You can also let BodBot know if there are any exercises you do not want to do, or areas that you want to work more gently. Sit ups should be on your do not do list!
Your program will be tailored to all of the info your provide. Each exercise has a picture and a video of the exercise right there for you. It will also tell you the number of reps and sets to do, and give you a brief description of the exercise and what muscles you should be working.
What I love about BodBot exercises is that they are generally very functional. They tend to steer away from isolation exercises (i.e. bicep curls) and focus more on compound exercises (working more than one muscle group), like a pushup. Not only is this typically better training, but it also cuts down your training time since you're working more muscle groups with each exercise.
You can also track your nutrition, connect with friends to stay motivated, and see how your fitness is progressing with graphs and charts.
BodBot isn't a personal trainer. You won't have someone watching you do your exercises (although this may be available in the future according to BodBot), which may be really necessary for some people, but it is the best training app I've discovered. The convenience of having a program with me wherever I am is awesome - at home, on holidays, at the gym (if I ever make it someday), it's always in my pocket.
Happy work outs!