Combine ease of use, and real science, by a real expert: It’s a fitness app I’ve been using on my iPhone, MiFitLife, which is the first one of these I’ve used that actually works for me. It’s based on science, developed by a real expert, and it lets me input workout data in 10 seconds instead of — like every other I’ve used — 10 minutes.
The developer, Richard Brown, is a friend, a long-time Eugene OR resident, and beloved professor at the University of Oregon. He also has a PhD degree in Exercise and Movement Science, has trained more than a dozen olympic athletes, and is a member of the athletic hall of fame of the U.S. Naval Academy. Disclosure: I do have a financial interest, because he’s also a client of Eugene Social, in which I’m a partner.
I really like, actually, believe in, the science behind the app. It’s based on VO2 Max:
You should care about VO2 Max because the best measure of your ability to convert energy is your ability to deliver oxygen to your cells.
For more on that you could check it out in Wikipedia, or Richard’s explanation on MiFitLife.com.
What it means, for me, in daily use, is easy to use, because of easy data entry. I’m a regular at the gym. I lift weights, do cardio, etc. So with any of the half dozen or so leading iPhone fitness apps I’ve tried, entering workout data had me entering the exercise like every set of weights defined by what it was, what weight, and how many reps; or how many miles in how many minutes. With MiFitLife I enter the time and the VO2 Max level, with a simple sliding scale. That’s 10 seconds instead of 10 minutes. And that means I actually use it. I input my workouts and follow its recommendations. It works for me.
Another advantage is that it starts by getting my details, like age, weight, exercise habits, etc., so it can add value with recommendations. How much to do, and how often, is not a random anonymous algorithm. At my age that’s reassuring.
And it accommodates any exercise, easily. One of my daughters records the stairs and vacuum cleaner exertion of cleaning her apartment. It does swimming, cardio, rowing, sports, walking, whatever … it’s all a matter of VO2 Max. Time and effort. Simple.
Unfortunately, this recently-released iPhone fitness app is up against hundreds, maybe thousands, of competing fitness apps. And when you get into tag lines and marketing, they all say the same thing. Every one of them claims science, and tailoring, and easy to use. But this one actually is.