Future App Review: A digital personal trainer could be the key to keeping your fitness routine on track

Future integrated with the Apple Watch to track your training stats – exercise time, heart rate, calories burned, etc. Once the day’s workout is done, that information is shared with your coach – no fumbling allowed. Users are also asked to leave feedback, give the workout a difficulty score, and even take a sloppy post-sweat selfie if they wish.

Coaches track that data to make adjustments to their programs: For example, a skyrocketing heart rate on a cardio recovery day would likely trigger an adjustment. In my case, about four weeks after the program started, Ben arranged to meet with me so we could talk about how the exercises felt for me and my body, specifically for my concerns about an old injury, and we made some changes. at.

What we liked

There’s a lot to like about Future. The big? Price. I’ve worked with personal trainers who charge over $100 an hour. A whole month of programming for $149 is also a screaming deal –if the experience is similar.

Future, of course, isn’t exactly the same as IRL training. But it’s also not a completely passive experience where someone sends you a plan and that’s it. Ben took the initiative to ask me questions about the feedback I had left (even if the feedback was “my ass will hate you tomorrow”). For me, someone who thrives with an accountability buddy, that was extremely motivating to to keep working, including having your unadulterated data going directly to them.

I loved that I knew exactly what I’m going to do when I walk into the gym. But I also enjoyed the variety of exercises that I hadn’t programmed myself. This morning I did a ladder of dumbbell clean and burpees. Last week I did weighted hip screws and cable machine presses. And while variety is spicy and fun, studies have shown it can also help with motivation.

In the past I’ve always felt that contacting a trainer I worked with after the time I “paid” was a burden. But so far my experience with Future has made me feel like the lines of communication are wide open. For example, if I didn’t write feedback and just “rated” a workout, Ben would message me and ask what I thought of certain exercises. He was also extremely communicative about when he would be offline for the holidays (even sending back a snapshot of him and his wife skiing). In other words, it felt like a real trainer.

What it can’t do

Though there are a ton of moves stored in the app, including relatively unusual compound moves like the glute bridge chest presses I recently crushed. But personally, with the right trainer, you could try one-on-one things with a trainer that isn’t a traditional option in their exercise library.

Another caveat: Trainers can’t resolve issues with your form in real time. If there’s anything you’re having trouble with or would like their input on, you can make videos of yourself making a move and have your coach check your form. But let’s face it, that’s a whole different level of impressive responsibility and agency on your part – this sort of thing might be best for people who have a little bit of experience working out on their own.

Get this if…

When you’re in a rut. If you are looking for change. If you have the money. Personally, I’m all for it for now. I’m a little slimmer, excited about what’s to come and grateful to be able to do everything from home when the Covid charts look bad. My sweaty selfie game is also better than ever.


Apple Fitness on Apple Watch and iPhone.

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