An app review for you budding fitness enthusiasts! JEFIT is yet another mobile application designed to help you take control of your exercise regime. Yes I know there is a huge abundance of them but wanted to share this one with you as I have tried a fair few and this is the only one I have consistently stuck with. I now couldn’t work out without it! I hear your groans and sighs but with so many of us pounding the floor of the local gym (at least until February) I thought I would share my thoughts in the hope that it might help you stick to the gruelling and ambitious schedule you have set yourself.
By far the trickiest part, and the part where I suspect some users may give up before even lifting a weight. Configuring your workout is not the easiest as there are a number of variables such as number of reps, sets and rest time that you have to decide upon as well as a seemingly endless database of potential exercises. If you’re only on mobile, the set-up will frustrate you, I had to boot up on my desktop to add my routines into my profile through the Jefit website. Alternatively if you want bypass this issue you can download other users shared routines as a starting point. This is particularly useful if you haven’t given much thought as to what you want to do, just be aware though that although professionals post routines on the app (Jefit also add routines but more about that later), the majority of the routines are those of regular people without qualifications or experience of how to design an optimal training plan and they probably didn’t consider your current level of fitness, goals or your glass knee as a factor when they added in all those squats and lunges. If in doubt, ask your gym’s P.T. to help you work out what you should do.
Once you have formed a routine, I recommend adding the body statistics that you want to track. This could be weight, body fat percentage, waist size, size of various muscles, whatever reflects your fitness goals. You can also upload photos to compare progress throughout your fitness journey and share them with the online community should you wish to. No judgement on whether this makes you a bit of a narcissist will be passed here, honest!
Gym with your phone?
If you listen to music while in the gym this is a normal feeling for you but I have always preferred to leave the likely distractions of Twitter and Whatsapp in my gym bag. Getting into the routine of using the app to record every set can also be a tricky habit to get in to but if you already record your activity with a pen and paper, like many do, this shouldn’t be an issue.
The interface for gym time use is very user friendly and clear. Exercise form descriptions are included with moving gif images which can be useful to ensure you aren’t allowing bad form to creep into your workout. Each exercise within your routine displays your last recorded log so you can gauge what weight you might want to be using. The rest interval timer, one rep max calculator and personal exercise record information are also very useful and help keep you on track to achieving your goals.
If you really can’t handle using your phone at the gym (I have had some funny looks from more ‘old school’ fanatics), you can add the logs after although for me this would render the app pointless as I would likely forget what my routine or forget what exercises, reps and weights where involved in my workout.
The social side
Recent updates have seen more integration of the social network within the app which looks like it could have potential but the low user volume/lack of users I know, renders it fairly irrelevant for me currently. I see potential for it for the fitness enthusiast that trains with friends regularly and wants to develop a healthy competition or personal trainers and coaches that want to help track clients.
Free or paid?
As a recreational fitness fan, I have stuck with the free version, but I can see the benefits of the elite version being useful for professional or semi-professional athletes or industry professionals. For either a monthly subscription of £4.99 or a annual fee of £39.99 you can have access to a much wider range of reports and summaries, go advert free and access Jefit’s elite routine database. What this database offers that you couldn’t adapt and transpose from the thousands of workout plans you can find online I cannot say.
4 out of 5
I think the biggest appeal for me is the fact that it organises something which is quite difficult to organise, collating data and records and turning them into usable information and insight into your body’s capabilities. The app appeals to me as a marketing professional, providing data and insight to reinforce results and plan the next step. Jefit has exceeded all expectations I had of it and definitely helped me stay on track with my fitness goals by showing me the information I need whilst I exercise. The potential future developments around the social network side look interesting and could completely change how we work out in the future. Fitness technology is a rapidly growing industry and Jefit has made a valid contribution. If you’re a fitness enthusiast with a desire to add structure to your work out and understand your training in more detail, persevere with the potentially laborious set-up and you will see the benefits after a few weeks.