Fit trainer

Intro article

Learn what the app has been created for and how to start using it.


Fit Trainer is an Android application representing an advanced training journal with a possibility to create detailed training programs fitting the user. These options make it an automated analogue of a personal trainer.

Difference from competitors

There are lots of applications providing you with a training program that you can follow and where you can write down your results. But let’s have a look how it’s done (in most apps the structure is the same): you are given a program with a list of exercises and a recommended number of repetitions and you choose yourself the weights you can do the exercises with. This is how you train within a week (as the programs are usually designed for a week) and the next week you look at your results from the previous week and try to do a bit more. Basically that’s it.

Thus, the current programs are based on the linear load progress. However, such scheme loses its efficiency very quickly and the athlete hits a plateau, i.e. the condition when he/she cannot increase the load anymore.

In contrast to the existing applications the programs in Fit Trainer are designed with an account of division of the load into periods, which is the most efficient way of preventing plateaus in the training process. The periods are built differently for different programs, e.g., in some programs the first day is the hardest, the second one is of medium difficulty and the third one is easy; the pattern repeats week by week with gradual load growth in respect of all the days. In other programs the scheme is more sophisticated, e.g., the program starts with a serious back-off in weights aimed at replacement of power training with high volume training and gradually, in a couple of months, the athlete goes back to power training but achieves better results by inertia.

The application supports any types of breaking the load into periods. You can try any system found in a book or a magazine or even a training program purchased from a famous trainer. Enter it into the application and follow it adjusting the previously developed plan.

One can say that breaking the load into periods is a correct way but it is possible to accomplish in the existing programs. I will just have larger load in some days and smaller one in the others, I will decide for myself how much weight to add and when. Yes, no doubt it is possible. But in the existing programs you will have to keep the plans in your head and since you cannot remember what you’ve planned for the months ahead you’ll be writing them down in a notebook. You‘ll be getting out your notebook in the gym, working out and entering the results into one of the existing applications. It is also an option, but wouldn’t it be so much better to join the notebook with the application?

Fit Trainer makes it possible to make macro- and micro-cycles, separate workouts, sets in the exercises and rest between them (as some programs are based on the increase of intensity achieved due to strict monitoring of the rest periods between the sets). In Fit Trainer you plan the workout up to the minute, and then start the workout player that keeps track of time and tells you when to begin another exercise. You can write down your results for further analysis. Or the application can create all this from the ready programs.

What I aimed to achieve when creating the application

One famous athlete has once said, “Bodybuilding is no space ship construction”. Yes, this process is not too difficult, but its efficiency depends on the knowledge you have. My objective was to make the process easier, to help the user by providing a number of detailed programs. So that a person could come to the gym as if to a fitness trainer, take the weights outlined by the program and just start working out. And leave planning, load increase and period tracking to the application. As in the case with a professional trainer when the trainer does all the planning and the athlete just performs what’s been designed.

Now it’s time to show you how to use the app.


First Launch:


When you launch the app for the first time you’ll be able to view a tour of all functions. You can slide the screens to the right-left to get background information on the main functions.

Then we choose creation of the program with the help of survey (either at the bottom of each screen or scroll till the end and there will be a choice on the last screen). Answer the questions and the system will select you the training program template.


Survey:

The survey is necessary to select you a training program.
You can always pass the survey one more time. The survey can be accessed from the side menu.

The program includes a set of exercises and needs the data on how well you can currently perform in these exercises. For example, how many push-ups you can do or how many kilograms (lbs) on the barbell you take for 6 squats. Then we enter the name of the program and press Done. The system will take some time to think and will provide you with a training plan for the months to come. You’ll first see the program description to understand how to use it.


Program Description:


Program description contains a lot of useful information on how the program is built, how to follow it, what to eat and what to do if something fails to go the way it’s been planned.

Read the description. You can always get back to it from the cycle and workout screen. And now let’s have a look at what the program has created. Press < at the upper left-hand corner.


Cycles and workouts:

Program consists of cycles. Cycles consist of workouts.
A workout is a set of exercises and sets.
By pushing the button with three dots at the Cycle screen you can launch the workout or plan it into the calendar.
By pushing the button with three dots at the Workout screen you can launch the workout from the chosen set.

The program consists of cycles, which can be considered training weeks although they are not always equal. Cycles consist of workouts. Press the first workout and you’ll see the workout plan. A workout is a number of exercises and sets. The screen above, for example, shows the first exercise – barbell squat. The plan offers doing it 10 times with a 10-kg barbell and one minute of rest between the sets.

Let’s try working out. Push the play button Start workout in the bottom left-hand corner.


Workout Timer:

Workout timer helps tracking your rest time and stick to the preset exercise pace.
The timer supports two modes: Full and Small-size. It can be switched by pressing the button or with swipe.

The workout player has opened. The third line is the rest timer. It currently shows 3 seconds out of 1 minute. You have some time to get the equipment ready. Btw, you can always swipe the timer to the small-size mode. You can be browsing the whole app and the timer will always be there for you not to forget when to start the next set.

The workout follows the scheme: Rest->Set->Rest->Set.

When planning the workout take into account that the rest period is specified individually for each set and this is the rest BEFORE the set. The reason for that is that your ability to perform the set depends on the rest time BEFORE the set rather than after. Thus, the rest period is characteristic of the specific set.


Workout Timer:

When there is no time left before the set. the timer turns red and the set performance button appears.
Note how the third line has changed. The Rest line has turned into Doing the set.
When you start doing the set the timer shows the time of set fulfillment.

The rest time is over, the timer has turned red. Press the button beside the tick. It means that we’ve started doing the set. The timer starts counting the time we are doing the set (it is an important characteristics, which allows you to adjust your performance pace to the one required by the program for maximum efficiency).

When the set is over press the tick one more time to enter the results.


Entering Results:

The result screen shows your planned weight and the number of repetitions. It also shows the actual rest period.
You can correct this data if you’ve taken different weight or have performed another number of repetitions.

So we’ve finished the set and pressed the tick one more time. Now you can correct your results or just press Ok if we’ve done everything as planned. The workout timer moves on to the next set. We’ve got a minute for rest. The result has already been added to the first set marked green as performed one. We do all the exercises in the workout and go home.

A few words about other functions: the side menu is actively used in the app. It contains app navigation and the created training programs.


Side Menu:

Side menu contains app navigation.
Upper links get you to the corresponding screens.
Below you see the list of your created training programs so that you could open them in no time.

For example, we see that on 02.28 I created a program and am currently following it (red marker) but there is also a list of all other programs. If a program is finished the marker is green, if it’s not finished and you are still working out, the marker is grey.

Side menu can be accessed if you see three horizontal lines in the upper left-hand corner.


Exercises:

All exercises have detailed description, video of performance, a scheme of working muscles and supporting pictures for those who do not fell like reading the description.

The exercises are clustered by muscle groups.

If there is no exercise you need in the list you can add it yourself and include it in your programs. You can change only the exercises of your own.


Accomplishments:

The best result of the exercise during the day is considered a record. You can see results of several exercises in one table.
The results are grouped by months.
Rotate the screen if you want to see the graph.

All your achievements are stored directly in the programs so you can always open the day you need and see the weight you lifted, the rest you had, etc. There is also an additional statistics – Accomplishments. The best result of the exercise during the day is considered a record.

The results are grouped by months for your convenience, the growth since the previous record and the number of days it’s taken is shown additionally in red. You can see several exercises on one screen to compare the progress. E.g., the screenshot shows the comparison between Wide-Grip Lat Pulldown and Decline Crunch.

Any result can be deleted. Long press the result and use the menu.

This is only a small part of the functions to get started. The app has the function of editing programs and workouts, quick creation of workouts by copying, etc. You can see them in the More functions section.

But since you are here anyway I suggest you read the article on extended features below.


Article on extended features:

Learn how to create your programs from scratch.
You’ll be able to simulate any, even the most sophisticated training programs based on breaking the workouts into flexible cycles, and follow them afterwards.

Read more