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July 19, 2012 | 12:00 a.m. CST
These days, people with smartphones can do virtually anything anywhere: shop, pay bills, even order Chipotle burritos.
On June 19, Skimble released the latest Android version of the Workout Trainer app, a free virtual drill instructor developed by health and fitness experts to help users get in shape. A version for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch is also available.
Upgrade: One-year access: $2.08 per month plus a $24.99 one-time fee, three-month access: $3.33 per month plus a $9.99 one-time fee
Compatible with: Android, iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
The app replaces the ruthless, nagging coach by giving users the choice between Greg, a giddy human voice, and one of two animated trainers with senses of humor. Between exercises, Kim uses her robotic voice to tell users to “chill out” and “chug some water.”
The app provides step-by-step audio instructions with corresponding photos or videos. Conveniently, users can customize exercise duration and intensity and map their workouts on a calendar that sends reminders via push notification or email.
Three one- to four-week-long exercise programs and dozens of workouts, such as simple stretches or high-intensity weightlifting routines, are included in the free version. An upgrade unlocks all workouts and videos.
Current users' reviews praise Workout Trainer's user-friendliness, which makes it great for beginners and those who keep a busy schedule. It’s also convenient for those who don’t want to go to a gym or don’t have access to one.
The iOS and Android versions do have slight differences. Only the former allows users to select workout music from their iTunes libraries.
Unlike other free virtual trainers such as Men’s or Women’s Health Workouts Lite, Workout Trainer doesn’t allow users to log their completion of individual exercises — only entire workouts. It also labels but doesn’t sort workouts according to the user’s goal (build muscle or lose fat, for instance).
To download Workout Trainer, users will need a smartphone and a Skimble account. However, willpower and self-motivation are not included.