In my journey to a pain free life, I knew that I needed to strengthen my muscles in order to better stabilize my body. A strong core will help in having better posture while at work, and make you feel better in general. My problem is, and has always been, that when I workout, I get bored. Even doing different things every day bores me… and cardio is the worst.
If I’m forced to run on a treadmill without any kind of music or mental stimulation, it is pure torture. Now, if I’m able to go for a run in the woods or down a trail, that’s completely different. I love the outdoors. However, being stuck on a treadmill for even 10 minutes without my headphones feels like hours of torture.
I’m a geek; a lover of all things superhero, sci-fi, and fantasy. So, I set out on a quest to find apps that fit my taste and can make working out a little less torturous. These are my findings so far:
Battlesuit Runner Fitness: $2.99 on Google Play and the App Store
*There is a free version available, but it only comes with three missions.
Protect the Earth from an alien invasion with this fun app. Your first mission starts out getting to know your suit. You start out in a training arena and then move on to the battle. To activate various features of your suit you slow down or speed up. The story unfolds automatically as you move along through your workout. You have the choice of using your own music playlist or just running in silence until the dialog breaks in.
This app offers choices throughout your mission; one example being bring the hostages to safety by slowing down, or go after the enemy by running faster. Along with the choice options, you have battle encounters. The success of these battles will depend on how much you’ve upgraded your suit. To upgrade your suit, you have to use iridium – the currency in this game. You can earn iridium from missions or by actually purchasing it through the app.
If you have an overactive imagination like I do, it makes the run much more interesting. This app works better if you run outside so that it can track you with GPS, and help you complete missions. However, if you just download the free version, it’s enough to keep you entertained while running on the dreaded treadmill. You can set the workout timer starting at 30 minutes and going up to 90 minutes.
7 minute Superhero Workout: $2.99 on Google Play and in the App Store
Protect Earth from an invasion as you pilot your mech suit, the AEGIS One. In order to save humanity, you have to pilot the suit and complete missions. In these various missions you will activate shields, weapons, and numerous other awesome abilities.
Superhero Workout uses motion capture via your phone’s camera – a cool feature that is awesome when it works. It will track your reps and calculate calories burned. Just make sure there is nothing around that can throw it off. My phone’s kickstand angles it so that it was seeing the ceiling fan – so it made it look like I was killing it on my exercises, but wasn’t accurately counting my calories burned. So, unless you like cheating, make sure there is nothing moving in the background.
This app can also be synced to an Apple TV or Chromecast if you’d like to watch everything on a bigger screen.
The pace is fast, so be prepared. You’ll go from one exercise to another with only a few seconds of rest between. The exercises include crunches, push ups, planks, burpees, wall sits, punches, planks and squats – basically anything that has to do with using your own body weight. You will definitely get a full body workout in a short amount of time.
I’ve only completed two days with this app, but so far, I really like it. However, for parents of younger children, be warned. It’s rated T (teen), which I wasn’t sure exactly why until I got into the mission. As I was doing my crunches to ward off a missile attack, my comrades inside the ship were warning me of the oncoming assault and one yelled out “Sh*t!” There were a few more, as well as some “God dam**t”… which is not a really big deal, unless you are doing this with your young kiddos around and don’t want them going around yelling out “sh*t” while you’re in the grocery store line.
Super Hero Workouts: Free on Google Play
This app has a collection of workouts. You can find these individually on the internet, but this app puts them all in a convenient package.
The workouts included are:
These are all body weight exercises as well, so you will not need any kind of special equipment. There’s nothing fancy about this app. Just a neat collection of different exercises.
Burn Your Fat With Me: There are two versions of this app; one that is marketed for girls – free, and one that is marketed for boys – $2.49 on Google Play.
This one is completely different from anything I’ve ever used. It’s a mash-up of the dating simulator games (which I am slightly obsessed with at the moment lol), and an exercise game.
Per Creative Freaks’ (the creators): “At its core, “Burn your fat with me!!” is a Japanese visual novel game akin to the “Phoenix Wright” or “Professor Layton” series. But instead of building a case or solving puzzles, the player advances the story by clearing fitness goals, such as performing 50 sit-ups in three minutes.”
In it, you are a young girl at an acting academy who is slightly overweight (how much it doesn’t say). You come across Kei who is an arrogant douchebag. The premise behind this game is that Kei basically shames you into losing weight so that you can get a leading role.
To begin with I was extremely put-off by this kind of thinking. I mean, Kei calls you fat and puts you down at every opportunity. I’m not overweight, nor do I “need” to lose anything. I’m simply aiming to tone up and build muscle. So, as Kei would hurl insults at me as I was doing my sit ups, I’d throw them right back.
In a way, it was a bit of a stress reliever. He’d say things like, “You know, you’d look amazing if you’d lose a few pounds.” To which I would reply, “And you would be perfect if you’d keep your mouth shut.”
As the story progresses, you find out that Kei has insecurities of his own and perhaps he isn’t as big of a douchebag as you originally thought. I haven’t finished the story yet. It requires A LOT of sit ups to progress, and I don’t want to cheat. I’ll do 100-200 if it will unlock the next episode, but right now I need 450, so I think I’ll spread that out over a few days.
Either way, it’s a fun game IF you don’t take insults to heart. I don’t condone this type of behavior from men (or women). You should never shame someone into losing weight. I wish the app was interactive because I’d love to go into full-blown arguments with Kei over his douchebag attitude as I do my sit up; but alas, I’ll just have to settle at yelling at the screen.
I’ll update once I finish the story and let you know if Kei ever gave up his douchebagery, or if you’ve already finished it, feel free to comment. I’m curious to know if he truly is a jerk.
I haven’t tried the male version of this app, but from what I hear it is not done with insults. The girls cheer you on instead of put you down. I intend on finding out if this is true, to which I will be sure and let the creators know that they should re-think how they market to females. Whereas some of us may enjoy arguing with a simulated douchebag, it would be nice to be encouraged instead of put down constantly.
Those are all that I’ve had the chance to review so far. There are plenty more out there. I plan on downloading Zombies Run! within the next few days. When I come across any more, I’ll be sure and post about them as well. If you happen to know of any others, drop me a comment. I’m always on the look out for new stuff!
No matter if you use an app or just wing it, just remember to always do exercises correctly and don’t rush through them. Getting injured from improper techniques will only slow your progress.
Keep on being awesome! You got this!
Until next time,