After the success of Nike’s various fitness apps on Android and iOS, it was only a matter of time before another sports apparel giant such as Reebok ventured into the space.
Reebok Fitness is both a calendar and fitness app, combining original workout routines with a unique schedule centered around when and how you want to work out.
Finding your feet
Upon launching the app, users will be asked to create a new program. It has to be between 6 and 12 weeks long, and contain at least two disciplines from the following list; walking, running, dance, yoga and training.
Those parameters immediately make the app feel a little restrictive. I’m quite a keen runner, but don’t really fancy forcing myself to do a bit of dance or yoga every week. Similarly, I like to improve over a long period of time, so the 12 week wall is a bit of a nuisance.
Once you’ve chosen the parameters for your workout, the app automatically generates a schedule for the weeks ahead. You’ll need to create an account to access the rest of the app, but it’s a fairly simple and painless process to complete.
How it works
Reebok Fitness has a clean interface adopting some of the design elements used by other calendar apps such as Fantastical. The next seven days are listed from top to bottom and use small circular icons to illustrate when you’ll be exercising.
By hitting the ‘Edit’ button in the top left-hand corner, it’s possible to discard and rearrange activities using a long-press on the various sections.
When it’s time to get up and do something, users need to tap on the corresponding arrow on the right hand side of the screen. There’s a quick overview of the workout, explaining what you’ll be doing and how long it should take, as well as the option to look at a quick demo.
For running, this involved a more detailed description of how I should be pacing myself, including tips on breathing and rest periods. There were no videos or interactive tutorials, save for a generic cover photo at the top, which felt like a bit of a missed opportunity. The official website boasts “videos and demos from world-class fitness experts,” but perhaps these are only available for specific disciplines.
As soon as you hit ‘Done’, it will ask if you’ve completed the workout as described. It’s quite a jarring experience and highlights the shortcomings of the app as a whole; Reebok Fitness isn’t a tool for measuring your performance, such as Nike+ Running, Runtastic or the like, only a prompt for reminding you when it’s time to exercise.
Provided you hit the large tick icon, you’ll be asked how you felt during the workout and given the option to share your progress via Twitter, Facebook or email.
A tap at the top right-hand corner of the screen reveals a sidebar with a few extra features to sweeten the experience. The ‘Achievements’ section offers a few overarching metrics, such as your completion rate for your current schedule, as well as your longest workout streak. It’s a little basic compared to the trophies system in the Nike+ apps, but is a nice addition all the same.
There’s also a basic timer for keeping track of your current activity, and the usual stab at monetization via a store finder and online shop.
The store finder is pretty ropy because of some poor Bing Maps integration, which lack detail and are incredibly difficult to navigate.The online store, meanwhile, is just a shortcut for the full browser experience. Both fail to make a lasting impression and will most likely be forgotten after the first misplaced tap.
The bottom line
Reebok Fitness is a great way to create customized workout programs based on the sports and activities you want to try or already love. Creating a schedule is quick and easy, with just the right amount of flexibility to keep you engaged.
The app is a pretty shallow experience otherwise. The absence of any form of body tracking means that there’s no analysis of your performance, or any kind of overriding score based on your combined exercise.
As a result, Reebok Fitness is a strange experience that makes for a robust fitness calendar, but not a lot else.
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Image Credit: JOEL ESTAY/AFP/Getty Images