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Review: Gym Technik NextGen for the BlackBerry

By Ryan Blundell on 25 Nov 2009 04:04 am EST
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I don’t know how some people do it; I know I haven’t had much luck. To those who are able to fit a healthy lifestyle into the hustle and bustle of everyday life, I salute you. Excuse after excuse run through my head; I’m too busy, I’ll start tomorrow, I’ll just pick something up on the way home. It almost sounds like I’m a contestant on the Biggest Loser (which I watch), but that’s how I feel. I’ve started to make the change and I have the support of my wife and son behind me. I can also use my BlackBerry as a guide and tracker.

Just over a year ago, I reviewed Gym Technik and their web mobile site, which offered its services as a workout tracker. They’ve grown leaps and bounds, providing health and nutrition tips, tackling Oxygenfit integration and lifestyle advice. Earlier this month, Kevin gave us a taste of Gym Technik’s brand spanking new app, Gym Technik NextGen for the BlackBerry. Imagine having access to hundreds of workouts and exercises, as well as track your body stats on your smartphone spotter. I’m excited to get the rest of my life back on the right track and equally excited to have all the help that I can get.

About Gym Technik NextGen

The Gym Technik NextGen application requires you to be running OS 4.2 or higher with a trackball; no wheelies allowed. Storm users should expect support soon. The version I have installed is 0.9.107 and the file size is 1.4 MB. On top of that, it’s recommended that you have about 5MB of free space. Why? Because during the initial sync, over 300 workouts and exercises, as well as your data for the past 2 months, will be downloaded onto the handset. When we first looked at this over a year ago, your only option was to access the Gym Technik solution, by visiting their mobile site from your BlackBerry’s browser.

Now while this was, and still is, a great way to manage your workouts, cardio and stats, Gym Technik wouldn’t stop there. Gym Technik still offers the free Basic Edition. This Edition offers basic tracking of workouts and stats, workout analysis/optimization tools and health articles and tips. The Premium Edition adds advanced workout tracking, workout scheduling/preplanning, email support, advanced metrics graphing, full body stats tracking and, of course, access to the Gym Technik NextGen application.

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view your workouts

Once you have your account set up, it’s time to hit the application. The first thing you should do is enter your body stats. As always, be honest with yourself. You can enter in your body fat percentage, weight and measurement. The application supports both imperial and metric units of measurements. NextGen sports its own calendar, available in month view only. From the application, you can schedule which days you want to work out, which workouts and/or exercises you want to perform that day. You can also decide on specific exercise details (sets, weights, time, etc). The calendar will display scheduled workouts and which ones have been started.

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Schedule future workouts

On top of having access to your created masterpiece of a workout, you can actually build new workouts directly from NextGen. You can choose between Regular and Circuit Workouts. So this time around, I not only blew the dust off the original “CrackBerry Bust Out” workout, but I could begin to develop the new “Keep on Crackin” workout. I’ll leave this one up to you, so leave your input in the comments please as to which exercises to choose. To recap, here is the CrackBerry Bust Out:

Running and Treadmill - to help increase your speed and stamina while running to be the first in line for the latest Berry.

Stair climber - in case your carrier's store is located on a floor above the one you are currently on.

Cable Curl One Arm Standing - this will help you whip out your Berry from your case/pocket/purse to read the latest email.

Cable Wrist Curl - increases your Berry up time, by eliminating fatigue experienced by hours of constant Berry abuse.

Hanging Leg Raise/Oblique Crunches - helping me stay mobile while on my mobile by turning my keg into a six pack.

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time to hit the gym
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What to do, what to do...

You can choose exercises or cardio from the Gym Technik library, or enter in an exercise of your own. Exercises are broken down by body part first (arm, leg), then by activity. Cardio is broken down by both apparatus (stairmaster, bike) and activity (running, walking). When you are building a workout, you may come across exercises you are unsure of. NextGen allows you to view detailed exercise instructions; complete with an animated example. The animated image is controlled by your trackball- scrolling up and down will make the image move. This is a great idea and is almost perfect- as you scroll through the frames, the image does jump up slightly towards the written instructions above it. For the kid in you, try scrolling up and down quickly to watch the figure work out like a maniac. OOOoooo!! Feel the buuuuurn!!

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Oh! That's how you do it!
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How many did I do again?
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Cardio Stats

Just as you would create exercise details for future workouts, you can input the results of your current workout. Record the sets and weights, how long and how far you ran/walked/biked, calories burned and more. NextGen also provides a basic summary screen where you can see details of each workout and their specific exercises. To view full stats, graphs and more, you can jump on your desktop or lap top and head over to gymtechnik.com. Though the site, there are also some amazing articles to read, so give them a read. NextGen helps to keep you mobile while exercising. Feeling ripped after a great workout? Use NextGen to upload a photo of yourself via email to your account online. Graphs may not be convincing enough- now you can easily capture your progress on the go for motivation later. Even though NextGen has more functionality, it is much easier to use than the mobile site.

Conclusion

I think some applications should take a urine test, because Gym Technik NextGen is loaded with more muscles and more power. Creating and managing workouts is much easier and faster to do than on the mobile site. Though a little jittery, the frame by frame exercise examples were a welcome addition. It takes a little more space than I was used to in other apps, but if it takes losing a little memory to lose a lot of weight, then so be it. I’m definitely looking forward to adding Gym Technik NextGen to my routine. As I said before, you can keep your free account and use the mobile site or purchase a premium account and use NextGen. Gym Technik is offering one free month to try out NextGen. A 3 month subscription will cost $15/ quarter (or $5.00 per month) and the annual subscription will cost $48/ year (or $4.00 per month). So while you’re sweating away, make sure you don’t drip on your BlackBerry!

Pros

  • Advanced features not found on the mobile site
  • Quickly and easily create and manage workouts
  • Effortlessly input results

Cons

  • Frame by frames a bit shaky
  • No graph charts
  • No native calendar integration

More Info

  • Head over to www.gymtechnik.com/blackberry or use your BlackBerry browser and go to get.gymtechnik.com
2 comments

Maximaniac#CB

This app sounds great, but I'm not willing to pay a subscription fee, when there are other apps out there that don't have one. I'm already paying for a gym membership. Yes, it's only $5 or $4/month, but that money could be well spent elsewhere, such as buying a container of protein powder.

What I'm wondering (and hoping) is will Men's Health app for iPhone make its way onto blackberries. From what I understand, you buy the app and there's no subscription fee, plus new workouts are added periodically. It can also track your workouts, plus, it's only $1.99! That's the app I want.