Updown Fitness is a social fitness app for Android that aims to be a personal trainer whenever and wherever you need one. By offering 1,500+ different exercises across five different categories, Updown has everything that people need to guide them through a workout. The five categories that Updown focuses on are Cardio, Strength, Cross, Core and Stretches. Using these five focuses, Updown allows users to choose a location and build their ideal workout from the ground up. The location side of things informs Updown what sort of equipment you'll have, making sure you won't end up trying to perform a workout without the right equipment and users can take this further and create custom locations with the exact equipment they have to hand. With Updown, users are rewarded for their progress and users can easily share their workouts and goals on Facebook, Twitter and so on. Any level of fitness is welcome from beginner to those looking for their next challenge.
For users to get started, they just need to download Updown Fitness from the Play Store and then sign up for a free account.
Updown asks the usual questions that any app asking you to sign up makes, but it also asks some more interesting and tailored questions, like your overall goal for using Updown in the first place.
This is a nice touch, as this can help guide users towards the right sort of workouts, rather than have them choose the wrong workouts for their goals. One thing that did confuse me is that Updown didn't ask how much I weighed, which makes me wonder how I can be kept accountable for my progress.
Everyone starts off as a "newcomer" in Updown and the more workouts that users complete, the more points they'll earn. This gameifying of the process will appeal to those who've played video games as well as those who have tried dieting programs with a points system, it's a nice way of letting people know they've accomplished something. Moreover, users can easily share their progress at the end of a workout on social media, which is perfect for those that want to stay accountable to their peers.
Updown is not your typical fitness tracker, and is instead an app that generates workouts for you based on certain criteria. To do so, users need to begin by choosing from one of the five categories shown below.
At first, I wondered why there was even a Stretch category at all, but after playing Basketball for half an hour a day I understand why it can be useful. Once users have chosen their type of workout, they can further tailor things to their liking. For more advanced users, Updown offers the ability to create something entirely custom to them, allowing to mix different disciplines together to their liking.
I really enjoyed the approach here, as upper-body is pretty much everything I need to work on, but I can choose to focus on my chest and core, leaving my arms, shoulders and back out of things if I'd like to. Updown isn't finished however, as you can further customize your workout by editing any field you'd like, such as the amount of reps and so on. Once you've customized or created a workout that you like, you can favorite it to quickly run the same workout whenever you like, making it quick to get a workout together that you know does you some good.
These values are all easily-changed and allow users great flexibility over their end workout, or you can accept the defaults that Updown has generated from information you chose during sign up. Reps and rest time can be infinitely changed and this in conjunction with the ability to create something truly tailored for you. Even if you edit these values, Updown will still adapt to how you're doing and create more intensive workouts as you progress.
An important step when creating a workout is to tell the app where you are, this gives Updown information on what sort of equipment you have to hand. So for instance if you chose "Gym" you'd be expected to have weights and such on hand. The default for "Home" generates workouts without any equipment, but if like me you have a set of variable-weight dumbbells at home you can create a custom location to ensure workouts only generate with the right equipment.
When doing a workout, Updown will tell users what to do with a little animation at the bottom of the display, allowing beginners to follow proper form and such.
Once you complete a workout, users are awarded points towards their overall score. Users can also share their progress on social media as well.
Updown can be used to track your own activities as well, like playing Basketball or going for a run.
All-in-all, I found that Updown Fitness was the sort of app that while it might not appeal to everyone, it has a lot of value, especially considering that it's a free app. It doesn't track anything automatically, which might be a low point for a lot of users, but that's not the point of the app. Instead, Updown Fitness is the sort of app that will appeal to those who want to be in control of their own fitness regime. For those type of users, Updown Fitness is a great little app, and being able to edit and tweak workouts to your heart's content or create ones from scratch is a great way of playing to your strengths or focusing on something that needs improving. This is the sort of app for those that want to take care of their own tracking, rather than rely on an automated machine, and if people stick to logging their activities and using the workouts here, people will notice a difference in themselves.
- Speed (4/5) – Updown runs nice and smoothly, and there's no need to mess around with any settings or anything when getting started.
- Theme (4/5) – The whole app looks pretty nice, but there are some elements from older versions of Android here. The animations for proper form and such all look great, though.
- Features (4/5) – While not something for those looking for an automated affair, Updown Fitness is a fully-featured app that has a lot of value. The ability to create, edit and tailor workouts as quickly as this to suit whichever environment you want is a powerful one.
- Overall (4/5) – While a lot of users will be looking for something automated, Updown is something that is better suited to those that want to stay in control and tailor workouts to their abilities.
- Social element of the app will appeal to gym rats, as well as help those getting started feel real accomplishment as they share more and more difficult workouts.
- Allows users to create and tailor workouts to exactly how they want them.
- Gives users animations of proper form to follow, making sure they don't injure themselves or something similar.
- Custom locations can be created to ensure that Updown only allows users to choose workouts that they will have the right equipment for.
- Doesn't automatically track anything, everything is manual.
- List of manual entries for logging activities is a little small.
All-in-all, Updown Fitness is a great app for those that want to take control over their fitness regime. Logging everything outside of the workouts inside the app can be a little tedious however. With the ability to watch proper form and infinitely create, edit and favorite workouts to suit you, Updown is a great app for those that know their strengths and weaknesses and for those that want to improve or focus on certain areas. By sharing progress with others online, users get a real sense of having achieved something, and there's a lot of scope here with Updown and can easily take people from total beginners to more advanced trainers.