Fitness

The Artificial Intelligence FitnessAI App Has Revolutionized My Workouts

Living alone in Manhattan during the COVID-19 pandemic, I find myself constantly riding waves of anxiety and loneliness. But I am lucky to have an arsenal of mood-boosting tools at my disposal: calls with loved ones, phone sessions with my therapist, cuddles with my dog—and my daily workout with the FitnessAI app, which uses artificial intelligence based on 5.9 million workouts to generate custom strength-training plans.

It all began with my desire to become a better surfer. It was a late January day in Laguna Beach, California, and after months of rehabilitation from a foot and knee injury, I was ready to resume my quest to learn to surf. That morning in the water was magical. I was consistently able to paddle and catch the waves, but as hard as I tried, I could only land my pop-up—the explosive push-up movement that allows you to get up on the surfboard—on a bent knee. I knew that fear was part of the equation, but a lack of strength in my core and upper body played a role too.

I had strength-trained in the past with both a personal trainer and my physical therapist, but I was no longer working with either, and I wasn’t confident in my ability to create a program on my own. So on a friend’s recommendation, I downloaded FitnessAI (available on iOs).

I found the app to be refreshingly straightforward. It’s a full-body program broken into four main workouts: legs, chest and triceps, back and biceps, and shoulders. In default mode, the workout consists of four exercises, which utilize a range of equipment. The app displays animations to demonstrate proper form. It also suggests resistance, numbers of sets and reps, and rest times. Those initial recommendations are based on historical data as well as your height, weight, and previous lifting experience (information you input into FitnessAI during your onboarding). The AI is unlocked after four to eight sessions, using your own data to prescribe workouts based on progressive overload—increasing how much you lift gradually over time to increase strength.

Soon I found myself in the gym about four days a week. Each weight-lifting session took me roughly half an hour and pushed me to the perfect limit, leaving me feeling accomplished and energized but never burned out. The app also removed the roadblock of having to spend cognitive energy deciding what kind of workout to do—and how much to lift each time—making the decision to exercise less of a hurdle when my motivation was running low.

I also became intoxicated by the feeling of getting stronger; it was so satisfying when the same weight felt lighter in my hand than it had the week prior.

About a month after I started using Fitness AI, I found myself in Malibu for another surf lesson. This time I was able to land my pop-up in a standing position—an exhilarating accomplishment.

Then, within a week of my return home, COVID-19 had been declared a global pandemic, disrupting all aspects of daily life, including, of course, my fitness routine. My gym closed, so I ordered a bench and a set of dumbbells (at the time, they were still readily available online). Unfortunately, though, the stress of being in sudden isolation triggered an eating disorder relapse, and I ended up taking three weeks off from working out.

Now that I’m back in recovery, FitnessAI has become an even more integral part of my life. It gives me structure in this chaotic time.

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