REVIEW: My Fitness Instructor

BMF My Fitness InstructorLast year the kind people at BMF (British Military Fitness) got in touch and offered me a free session with one of their military instructors. My conclusion was that it was a fantastic workout, a great atmosphere and very fairly priced. But if the weather was half as bad as it has been lately, I might as well have thrown that money away. My 3-year tenure in the South has turned me into a soft-as-sh*te, cold hater.

A chap called Jon, who also runs a blog called My Big Fat Geek Running, emailed me just before the launch of the BMF iPhone app, My Fitness Instructor. His blog is a cross between losing weight and promoting the iPhone app, which launched on Friday 26th March. Jon kindly offered me a chance to review it.

My Fitness Instructor is a premium application that allows you to fit your own little BMF instructor right in your pocket. Instead of paying the price of a gym membership every month, you can splash out £5.99 and choose when and where you do your own workouts.

BMF videosStep 1. Set the duration of the workout (maximum of 2 hours – yeah right!)

Step 2. Set the intensity (low, medium or high)

Step 3. Choose the focus of your workout (cardio, muscular or both)

…and that’s it! The little Australian instructor (Jim Preece) will start giving you instructions on what to do through your headphones. And I have to say that the exercises are very well described. You’ll be taken through a warm up, making sure that the body goes through the full range of movement, and then guided through the exercises. If you don’t quite understand the instructions you can view little exercise demonstrations as you progress. These little videos are very important as the app claims to have 5,000,000 combinations of workouts at its arsenal, so you never know what exercise you’ll end up doing.

My Fitness Instructor also has a built-in fitness test setting. Remember the bleep tests you did at school? Running between two markers 20 metres apart before the bleep sounds until you can no longer keep up? Well this is included, which I think is a fantastic little feature. Doing one of these each week as you are training for a race will give you a great idea of your stamina. Plus, it is incredibly satisfying to be able to see your improvements each week. The results of the bleep tests can be stored in the app.

Not a bad little tool for the price of a couple of beers (which you’ll work off after one session with this thing).

The downsides:

  • You can’t preview the exercises.
    If you’re a beginner like me, you’ll know none of the exercises that the instructor is explaining to you (apart from the obvious ones like press ups). As the exercises become more complicated, you’ll have to stop to watch a video. This can be annoying as you normally won’t want to break your stride. Being able to learn the exercises by previewing a video before hand would have been nice (which you can’t do).
  • You can’t invert the videos.
    This sounds like a small point and one hell of a nag (which it is really). But the videos will only show in one direction, which means that you have to wear your iPod/iPhone on your right arm. I’ve always worn my mp3 player on the left arm so it felt uncomfortable. I know, boo hoo for me.
  • You can’t be self-conscious.
    Let’s face it. You’re running around a park, jumping up and down like a madman possessed. When you’re with lots of other people it’s easier to feel less self-conscious. But on your own at night, swinging your arms around in huge circles as fast as you can, or doing imaginary breast-stokes through the air, you might feel a little silly. But Jon begs to differ…

After some warm up stuff, we got stuck in. Surprisingly, I didn’t feel that self-conscious jogging and leaping around in the park on my own.
Jon, Big Fat Geek Running

My girlfriend has just signed up to the BMF classes so we’ll have a competition. Whoever has the best looking abs after a month will be the winner. The real thing versus the virtual… thing. You can buy My Fitness Instructor from the app store here.

Set up and go...Sir Win A Lot

The man himself has kindly offered to give away a copy of the My Fitness Instructor app to three lucky Sir Jog A Lot readers. To win your copy either click this link to tweet about the competition or leave me a comment below!

Again, I will, in no way, look upon entries more favourably if they also leave a £2 donation to my London Marathon charity, the Lymphoma Association. ;-)


*Winners will be contacted either by email or Twitter and announced on 13th April. Your email address will in no way be distributed to third parties. Entry to UK residents only.

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