Fitocracy’s First App Makes Fitness Tracking Competitive
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Instead of just tracking your workouts, a new iPhone app called Fitocracy lets you compete against other users and friends.
The startup has been running a browser-based social fitness contest without a native mobile component since February 2011. Its 250,000 registered users earn points by logging fitness activities in order to “level up,” earn badges or rank on a leaderboard — all with the option to join activity-specific groups and follow friends’ progress.
Users also earn extra points for completing specific groups of fitness tasks or “quests.” The “Paperboy” quest, for instance, suggests this: “Take a ride around your neighborhood. If you hit a trashcan make sure you sprint away from that lady with the knife and rabid dog.” That’s 20 minutes of biking and 0.5 miles of sprinting, according to Fitocracy.
Fitocracy’s user experience, however, has been hampered by requiring users to log activities — whether crunches, kayaking or hula hooping — at their browsers.
A mobile web version somewhat eased this pain point, but it didn’t have social features. An integration with fitness tracking app RunKeeper allowed users to log some activities with both apps simultaneously, but Fitocracy users still needed to return to the site in order to check their point levels and ranking.
The new iPhone app makes the service easily accessible by mobile phone for the first time.
“You can see how many points you’ve gotten and how many points you need to get to the next level,” co-founder Richard Talens tells Mashable. “It motivates you when you’re at the gym. If you have to run another half of a mile to reach the next level, you’ll do it.”
As with just about any service for tracking personal data, Fitocracy is easier to use in a mobile environment. Users can track their workouts as they complete them, check in on leaderboards and look up exact steps to the quests they’re working on. Fitocracy has redesigned its site to match the app’s easy user interface.
Talens says that Fitocracy users have already logged more than 2 million activities on the site. When they can do so from the gym or immediately after their workout, that number could skyrocket quickly.