Workout Buddies: Google TV & iPad as Fitness Coaches

Workout Buddies: Google TV & iPad as Fitness Coaches

Gregory Han
Jan 18, 2011

For a long while our Logitech Revue sat unused, patiently awaiting for the major Google TV update which is supposed to open up their app store, and expand the capabilities and utility of a technology whose potential has been mostly untapped. But over the holidays we realized Google TV can be used to access a plethora of workout videos via YouTube, making it one heck of a great exercise resource.

We recently started using kettlebells, the old-style weights on a handle, and we were excited about shaking up our workout routine with something new. But initially, we were not quite sure about technique and form, quite important when starting a new exercise. That's where the huge library of workout videos on YouTube comes in handy and provide a poor man's personal trainer resource.

Fire up the Logitech Revue on the HDTV (or any of the latest HDTVs with Google TV or YouTube access built-in), sign into YouTube with our favourited kettlebell workouts listed, then it's time for sweat, cry and grimace for however long your workout lasts. And then the next day, switch to a new routine; the great thing is of the quantity of different workouts and exercises available, alongside different online personalities pushing this particular brand of workout. So one day it's a 6 minute workout from hell that left our whole body shaking like jelly, to another half an hour routine which was more about stretching and form. And because the Revue comes equipped with a real keyboard, typing in searches is quick and easy, compared to using a single character at a time input device.

Our latest iPad app du jour is FitnessClass, a free marketplace for real-time, on-demand fitness video workouts. Well, free for a few sample workouts, then you have to pay to access specific workout routines. We purchased our first half hour strength routine for $2.99 and have been pleased with the format and content of the workout thus far. Explanations are thorough and clear, and the workout goes by quickly (though not quickly enough at certain points when our muscles are quivering and shouting, "no mas!"). Working out watching the iPad doesn't quite compare to YouTube on a 55" screen, but it can actually be better for certain workouts where you're lying down and trying to follow form; you can simply place the screen by your sweaty self and pause it easily when you need to (and we often need to).

The FitnessClass workout selection is quite varied, with an assortment of styles, techniques and trainers themselves. A preview video is available for each and an estimate is provided for how many calories you'll burn based upon your age, weight and height.

It's always preferable for anyone to get outdoors and exercise. No app is going to beat a walk/run on a beautiful day. But for those stuck indoors when the weather doesn't an outdoor jaunt or makes a trip to the gym a difficult excursion, these two technologies can be a worthy consideration for getting your behind in shape.

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