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On Fitocracy

On Fitocracy
Amelia
  • On September 5, 2014
  • http://ameliajune.net

Since I’m the weightlifter in the Can’t Talk family, Bell asked me to review Fitocracy for the E-Fitness Experiment. Fitocracy is a fitness website and application available for iStuff and Android stuff.

What drew me to Fitocracy was the game aspect. It’s not as fun as say, fitRPG, where you get characters and treats when you level. However, it does reward you points each time you log exercise. There are tons of exercises available to choose from, which you group into your workout for the day. Each exercise set gives you a certain amount of points.

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Those “fake internet points” have helped motivate me at the gym for over a year now. If I lost my account for some reason I might feel real remorse at the loss of my points. I earned those!

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You can also go on “quests” that give you extra points and earn badges for various activities as well.

fitocracyquests

Fitocracy bills itself as a “health and fitness social network.” In many ways, it works as a social media site. You can post pictures and interact with others via your profile or in one of thousands of specialized groups. There are “props” which are the fitness equivalent of likes on Facebook, apparently. You can prop someone’s comment or their workout. I love getting and giving workout props, it’s sort of like having gym friends without having to have gym friends. The people there are generally positive and supportive no matter what your level of fitness or goals.

You can log all kinds of different exercises on Fitocracy, but the website seems to reward weight lifting higher than some kinds of cardio. If you want pats on the back for running, I’d stick with Fitbit and the like, because Fitocracy does not reward running well. On the other hand, swimming earns a ton of points. The variety is amazing–everything from rock climbing to yoga to “other cardio.” You decide what “other cardio” means to you.

You can track your progress over time from the website, which I find incredibly helpful when planning future workouts.

fitocracyprogress

can you spot my neck injury? *sniffle*

Other functions I don’t use as much allow you to duel others (if you’re a paying member), group your sets and name and save workouts to repeat later. There’s also a treasure trove of blog posts and thoughts on fitness, as well as countless people willing to answer questions and talk fitness/lifting talk in the groups. I have learned a lot about good fitness, good form, and healthy body care from the people there.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that while most of Fitocracy focuses on fitness and health, there are corners of the site that are all about weight loss. Many lifters are obsessed with body modification and specialization–and that includes weight loss (“cutting”). There is weight loss talk on the site, and much of the promotional email is about their online coaching–which often focuses on weight loss or body changes. If this type of talk is triggering to you, I think you could still use Fitocracy but definitely shove their emails into spam. One nice thing–you can enter your weight into Fitocracy, but it doesn’t track your weight progress or even show your weight anywhere. I like that.

The Android app is hit or miss, sadly. Some of the functions are really great. I especially like that you can look up how to do an exercise, and sometimes even watch an example in .gif form. This comes in super handy when you’re at the gym wondering what the heck you were going to do or what the heck that other person is doing.

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However, I find a bug almost every time I use it. Things freeze up or put me into endless loading screens. The functionality of the site is whittled down to the very basics for the app–no perusing quests or using that handy progression bar graph, for example. You can keep abreast of your group and friend activity there though, and I know a lot of people never go to the website at all. For all my frustrations with the app, I do use the thing three or four times a week at the gym and it mostly does what I need it to.

In all, I really enjoy Fitocracy for my work out logging and fake internet point needs. I recommend you check it out!

 

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