Fitness Buddy - the App That May Replace Personal Trainers


Walk into any gym these days and, odds are, almost everybody you see will be plugged in, probably to their playlists, while they work out.

So in this always-connected mobile world of ours, what if there was an app that actually walked you through your exercise routine, step-by-step, like a virtual personal trainer?

Well, there is, and it’s called Fitness Buddy, a product from El Cerrito-based SkyHealth available for the iPhone, iPad and android devices.

“We want to be the go-to place to get fit,” says founder Tom Xu. “We’re a health-oriented company with the goal through mobile technology to produce great tools that help people better manage their health.”

SkyHealth already has had great success with its Glucose Buddy app, a diabetes-management tool, which was the first of its kind, and is today the most widely used tool of its kind on the iPhone.

Fitness Buddy launched for iOS last July. For the price of a buck ($.99), this app contains over 1700 exercises organized by several categories --  by the muscle, by the part of the body (upper, lower or core), or by the equipment you are working on.

There are also roughly 1,000 videos embedded in the app, featuring a fitness model demonstrating the proper way to use the equipment and complete your exercise.

Another useful feature is that by clicking on an image of the human body, you can access specific exercises for quads, say, or abs.

There are also around 75 curated workouts, with specific goals you can customize as to what you wish to achieve, such as losing weight, reducing your waistline, achieving that six-pack, etc.

The app helps you track your progress over time. It even provides help with improving your baseball or basketball skills – helpful particularly to weekend warriors. (Help with improving your soccer skills is coming soon.)

“We have the most comprehensive database out there,” says Xu.

Fitness Buddy would seem to have the potential to seriously disrupt one group of workers, and that would be personal trainers, who can earn $50-150/hour.

For all the DIYers out there, a $.99 app with pretty much all the info you need would seem to be a pretty attractive alternative.

In what was probably a very smart move, Fitness Buddy provides a music player built right into its iOS app. After all, no exercise buff, no matter how serious, is going to give up listening to his or her playlist.

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