I scheduled this app for review back when my kids were in summer camp and I had some time in the morning to actually work out! Summer was quite hot and I moved my usual outdoor runs to an indoor gym. On my iPhone, I had my trusty, personalized list of strength, core and stretches to take me beyond the treadmill and I referred to the list often.
Enter the Complete Gym Guide. Laid out very intuitively, the left column of the app has three choices: exercises, favorite where you can add your favorite exercises, and calculators which calculate various health and physical equations to help you obtain your goals. As I write this review, my kids have been off from camp for weeks and school doesn’t start until after Labor Day. The gym seems very far away!
I like the ease of finding exercises in this app. They are split up into categories: abdominal, bicep, tricep etc. Each category has many exercises listed (for example: abs – 40 different options, biceps – 10, triceps – 9) and there is a thumbnail next to the name of each exercise, so you can get a quick sense of what it entails before tapping on the name.
When you tap on an exercise, you will get a larger diagram showing you the correct positioning and a “how to” guide. If necessary, it will provide warnings – i.e., for “lying dumbbell tricep extensions” the app warns “for this you need to be very careful when selecting the weight…also is you suffer from elbow problems this exercise might be too harsh…” Additionally, it will offer variations and trainer tips for some exercises. You can easily select any exercise as a favorite to refer to without looking back through the lists.
One curious absence on this app is hamstring exercises. As a runner, that was the first category I looked for! Glutes are also missing, but other than those this seems to be a pretty complete list.
I would love to see the ability to create multiple lists in “favorites” to create a personalized training program for different days of the week, if, for instance, you wanted to focus on upper body one day and legs the next, or want to be able to move items around in the list.
I feel that this app assumes some basic knowledge of strength training. For instance, under abdominals is a “standing dumbbell side bend” which, while technically would fit in the abdominal category, is really to target your obliques. Some previous knowledge is useful in deciding which of the 40 abdominal exercises to choose on any given day, in order to attain your personal goals and objectives. The Complete Gym Guide does not comment on the difficulty of the included exercises, so it is important that you make sure you are not pushing yourself too hard.
The calculators are fun to use to see base numbers of where you should be for protein, carbohydrate, and water and calorie intake. It also contains a Creatin cycle, Lean Body Mass, Max Rep, VO2 Max, and Base Metabolic Rate. Calculators based on weight and age can only give you a general guideline and will not be accurate for every user.
This is a great app to mix up your usual gym routine and have a visual guide to ensure proper technique. I would recommend this to anyone who currently does the same dozen exercises over and over and is looking to add difficulty or variation to their workout. I love the ability to scroll through numerous exercises and add them to my list while ensuring that I have proper technique and form with the given instructions and pictures.
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation) and iPad. Requires iOS 5.0 or later.
Disclosure: I received a free copy of this app for review purposes.