Bring It! P90X has finally released an official iPhone app for its loyal users. Using this new app you can track your progress, record your workouts, keep a tab on your diet and even download the P90X supplemental videos to help you do your workouts when you don’t have the P90X videos around. The P90X app costs five dollars and is loaded with a ton of impressive features for a first release, which probably explains why it took BeachBody this long to come out with an app. I really do wish this app was around 5 months ago. There is no indication as to whether or not this app will support P90X2 users coming in December of this year.
The first thing you’ll notice about the app is that its nicely thought out and very easy to use. You’ll find a bunch of tutorials to help you get going, and discover loads of little features tucked away in the app as you continue to use it. Here are the main types of things you can do with the P90X app.
Fit Test: Take a fit test using the freely provided guide and find out if you’ve got what it takes to take the P90X plunge.
Your Profile: Once you’re ready to get in shape, you’ll want to record your initial body weight and measurements to track your progress. Use the P90X app to enter your various measurements, attach photos and update these things any time you want. The app guides you through taking a series of before shots (front biceps, back biceps, front hands on hips, side, front twist) and you can add new sets at 4 additional intervals during your 90 day program. You can even share your photos on the Team Beachbody website, Facebook or Twitter directly from the app. You can also attach a picture to your profile and see your transformation in 30 day intervals. Keep in mind, taking a full body picture of yourself using the iPhone will be near impossible, so you’ll either need a friend, another app with a timer function (I recommend the Photo Timer app), or you will have to import a previous photo from your Camera Roll. It would be nice if the app provided a timer function for taking photos. Profiles also include a progress history of the past 7, 30, or 120 days. Use the progress area to track your weight, waist, hips, chest, arms, legs and body fat along the way. The app has also added an achievements section. Here you’ll earn awards for completing specific things. Some example achievements are: Lumberjack (log your first week of workouts), Washboard (Complete your first 10 Ab Ripper Workouts), and Forever Young (Complete all Yoga X workouts).
Main Screen: On the main screen you’ve got 3 main links. Work Out Now, Current Progress and Nutrition Journal. Work out now lets you pick from any of the 12 P90X workouts, or choose a custom activity like running, swimming or even add your own activities by name. An issue I found is that if you pick the Work Out Now link from the main page and pick a workout to do, you can’t go back and delete it, ever. But if you go to Calendar and choose Add a Workout, you can delete the workout later. The workaround I found for now is to log into teambeachbody.com with your account and you can delete the same workouts from there.
Setup: Starting a P90X program using the app is simple. Pick a program (Classic, Lean, or Doubles), Phase and Level, and pick a start date, then the app automatically fills in a calendar for you. No more having to lug around a workout list or enter stuff manually into a calendar. You can set a reminder for anywhere form 5 minutes to 3 hours before any upcoming workout and the app sends you a push notification. There’s a grey bar on the included calendar that shows when you have a day with a workout, and it turns blue when completed. Tap on any day to see your workout and nutrition journal entires. So, what if you’re already in the middle of a P90X program & you buy the app? What you can do is choose your actual start date in the past and start using the app going forward. You can then go back through the app’s calendar and enter the workout details for previous days.
Tracking your nutrition: Use the P90X app to quickly add servings of food and drinks you consume throughout the day. Now you don’t have to worry about keeping a log on paper or taking notes. Just tap on the bar for any of the categories and the app automatically calculates your calorie intake. You also see the max servings per category per day. The app automatically uses the matching serving counts based on your current phase and level in P90X. The nutrition categories are supported and color coded for easy identification including Protein, Dairy, Fruits, Vegetables, Fats, Carbs, Snacks, Condiments, Water, Power Bars, and Recovery Drinks.
Tracking your workouts: The P90X app has a simple interface for entering your rep and weight information for each move while working out. There’s a checkbox for noting “assisted” moves, great for those on a chair for pull-ups or using knees for push-ups. You can also type in notes manually for each move. There is a horizontal scroller for picking the weight and reps but it gets a bit tedious to scroll at times. If you’re using bands, you’ll probably have to use the notes section or maybe just use a default weight per band color that you would be able to track later on. Rotate your iPhone to landscape mode while in Track mode to see a log of your previous reps/weight which can be seen as a list, chart or notes.
Each workout has a Movement List section where you can see all the various moves included. But these aren’t at all detailed. They just show the name of the move, along with a tiny thumbnail image, how long the set should be, and little icons that indicate what items you’ll need (like a chair, heart rate monitor, push up bars, pull up bars, yoga mat, or weights). When you finish a workout, there is slider that you can use to record the Workout Intensity from easy to intense.
If you don’t want to do a specific workout as scheduled by the app, or maybe just want to switch days or skip a day, you really can’t do that with the app right now. You can not delete an automatically scheduled workout in the calendar. You can add additional workouts however and just not complete the base workout, which might be a hacky workaround. What’s cool is if you add too many workouts in one day, the app will give you a warning to take it easy.
Guided Workouts: If you haven’t seen the P90X videos yet, the app alone won’t do you much good in terms of learning the moves. If you do have the videos already, you’ll be fine and can just use the app to track your workout and nutrition info. There is an option to buy Guided Workouts via in-app purchase for each P90X workout. The Fit Test and Ab Ripper X are free to download as samples. You can buy all the 11 remaining workout guides for one bundled price ($59.99) or buy them each separately for $6.99 each. I’ve tested out a few of the guided workouts and overall I’m not too impressed because they are basically just repeating animated clips along with a very uninspired voice over from Tony Horton explaining moves. The motivation factor is completely missing from these guides. The actors including Tony are behind a white background. All this might not be an issue if you’re a self starter and can inspire & push yourself. Also you don’t get a good sense of what you should be doing, especially if you’ve never seen the actual P90X videos. What is nice about the Guided Workouts is that they take you into the tracking mode after each move so you can write down your stuff. There’s a total workout time and a move counter as well. You can turn off the audio, or the chimes if you want in the settings for each Guided workout. There is a workout directory section where you can see all the items you’ve purchased and quickly view them. Overall, these maybe beneficial if you’re away from your home and desperate to do a workout using your iPhone. If you already own the DVDs, you can also always just rip them and put the videos on your iPhone, but that is a ton of work and doesn’t integrate with entering your results into the app.
One final great feature about the P90X app is that it supports iPod music in the background. You can even play your own music and the Guided workouts play over the music. When Tony’s voice is heard, the iPod music is lowered, and it is returned back to full volume once his audio cues are done.
– Automatic Calendar of workouts
– Track workouts & nutrition, no more pen and paper!
– View progress using beautiful charts and logged data
– Syncs automatically with your Team Beachbody WOWY SuperGym website & profile
– Flicking through weight increments can feel tedious
– The increments for storing body measurements need smaller fractions
– Seven dollar guided workouts are too pricey
– Guided workouts lack motivation factor
– No iPad version yet
– Can not record Bands, only Weights
– Can’t delete scheduled workouts and add your own
– Can’t delete Workout Now entries at all
– Will still need P90X videos, not a complete replacement
– The app infrequently crashes
– Taking photos requires an app with a Camera timer, or a buddy
Overall: If you’ve already bought the P90X program, this iPhone app is a must have. It will make your P90X life easier to plan and track efficiently. If you have not yet bought P90X and are looking to start, don’t expect this app to replace that purchase, as you’ll still need the videos.
Here is a video demo of the P90X app on the iPhone
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