I’ve spent the past month putting Gym Buddy, a workout log from Anywise Enterprise, through its paces. And I’ve come away impressed.
I’ve kept track of my workouts on and off for years using the traditional pen and notebook and been relatively happy. But using Gym Buddy opened my eyes to a much better and more efficient way to capture, track and gauge my progress.
The supplied exercise templates that come with the app cover the basics for all body parts, and you can enter your own custom exercises and cardio activities as necessary.
Once you have your workout plan in place, you can log your sets, reps, weight used, the time and date of your workout, and any additional notes to detail each session. For your cardio activities, Gym Buddy lets you enter time, distance, and calories burned.
Day to day, week to week, and any other combination of date ranges can be compared and contrasted to give you a quick snapshot of your strength progression over time. Gym Buddy also provides a body calculator, allowing you to enter your height, neck, waist, hip and weight. While the tool is interesting, it was a little too generalized for my taste and, as a result, not a very accurate guide from a specific BMI or fat-percentage standpoint. That said, Gym Buddy’s body calculator does provide a good graph for trending purposes.
Gym Buddy’s a good iPhone app, but it could stand to see a few improvements. Combining workouts into groups would be helpful for users who change up their routines regularly or have seasonal workout rotations. Graphing for the various workouts would be a great improvement as well—that would make for instant visual reporting. Another great addition would be the ability to calculate automatic calories burned based on the amount of work done so that other activities such as martial arts, running, or other external activities can be calculated and added to the log. I think adding photos could also make for an interesting feature, giving Gym Buddy the ability to log “before” and “after” images to mark your progress. And I could easily see adding a food/supplement log so that users could chart their progress against what they’re consuming.
These additions would merely make a good app great, though. As it stands, Gym Buddy is a fine choice for a workout partner.
Gym Buddy is compatible with any iPhone or iPod touch running the iPhone 2.x software update.
[Kyle Bailey is “Da Big Cheeze” at E-Cubed Media Synthesis, an experience design firm in Vancouver, British Columbia.]