Back in October, I wrote up a post about the Fitocracy.com beta tool that allows users to sign up, track their workout and exercise routines, and compete against other members all while leveling up, grabbing achievements, and performing quests. Well, I wanted to do a follow-up now that just over 3 months has passed and let you know how it’s been going.
First (and the most obvious), I’ve managed to get back into shape. Really into shape. I do believe I’m in better condition now (age 42) than I was in college. No lie. The only thing I’m not doing right now that I could do in college is bench 225, but I’m fast approaching that goal. I don’t overheat like I did the first few weeks back at the gym, and I find that I’m often having to call it quits just because I’ve run out of time, not energy. I still do the occasional crazy day where I just go in and try to lift as much as possible (without injuring myself), but all in all I’ve been fairly successful at following a 3 day workout (currently down to 2 days a week because I’ve taken up running.).
Second: yes, I’m running. I’ve always hated running. Still do. But I’m finding that it’s the perfect fit for those days when I can’t get to the gym but I have energy that I want to burn. That, and I’m trying to prep for the 5K zombie run that I’ve signed up for — not sure if I’ll actually be able to finish a 5K (hoping adrenaline from the fast zombies will help there) but I’m doing it.
Third, I’ve managed to hit Level 19. I just got back from the gym and was hoping to get enough points to hit Level 20, but I just missed the mark. Oh, wel, my run tomorrow or my workout early next week should put me over the top. I’ve managed to compete 25 quests (such as the Beginning Widowmaker — lift 50% of your bodyweight 20 times in one set) and I’ve received a handful of achievement badges such as the Get Low (perform squat 1 rep at 1.1x your bodyweight). The site continues to add new quests (and retire old ones) and achievements (not weekly or even monthly, but they do show up occasionally) to keep it interesting.
Fourth, the GeekDad group has a thriving number of members who continue to push one another to keep active. We’ve had a few contests that are tracked automatically, complete with a leader board. And having our workout results (or run times) visible front-and-center on our profiles keeps us motivated with a dash of peer pressure thrown in.
We currently have 99 invites to the group (the service is still in beta) and I’m going to post the invite code at the end of this post, but if you’ve been looking for some motivation to get back to the gym or back in your running shoes or back in the pool, Fitocracy may be exactly what you need. I reached out to some fellow GeekDad team members on Fitocracy and asked them about their experiences with Fitocracy.
Member brickfrenzy had this to say:
My wife can attest to the fact that when I get focused on something, I can lock in on it and maintain motivation for a while. When I joined Fitocracy after the GeekDad post in October, I wanted a way to maintain motivation. Little did I realize how motivated I would be in competing against Warrenjp in the 2 month challenge enacted shortly after I joined. Once I realized that I could win the thing, I worked my butt off to get and then hold the lead, including running and hitting the fitness center at the hotel on vacation, and going for a run with my mom (while she biked) during Thanksgiving break. I haven’t really lost weight, because that’s not my goal this winter, but I’ve regularly been breaking personal bests in the big 3 lifts, and have over the course of the last 3 months gone from needing 50 pounds of assistance on chin-ups to doing sets of 4-5 unassisted chins. It’s definitely working for me.
I love that the quest system gives people the opportunity to try out new and varied exercises, the tracking system enables me to keep tabs on personal bests of all manner of different exercises, and the community is so friendly and helpful.
Another member, warrenjp, wrote:
I feed off the casually competitive environment that Fitocracy fosters. I want to work out every day and, of course, there are some days that I need extra motivation to start. For me, the challenges provide sufficient motivation to ensure that I don’t skip a workout. The additional benefit of the challenges and quests is that they get me to try exercises that I wouldn’t otherwise have tried. Like many individuals, I get caught in a rut of performing the same workout routines regularly. Breaking these routines is a good thing. I learn new exercises, work new muscle groups, and recognize much appreciated improvement in areas that I would have ignored.
I’ve really enjoyed Fitocracy, and even though my leveling has slowed down a bit (more points are needed to level up and I’m doing some exercises that just don’t get that many points for some reason), I continue to log in and track my progress. A trainer at my gym asked me last week to look at my workout journal (a small 4.5″ x 3.25″, 80 sheet book) — when I asked him why, he told me that he remembers when I came back to the gym and told me that it’s quite noticeable that I’ve been pushing heavy weight. He wasn’t familiar with the New Rules of Lifting program that I followed for eight weeks, and asked if he could borrow the book. He also recommended a small program to help me increase my bench press. And I can definitely tell I’ve bulked up a bit as I’m finding some shirts I wore are now a little tighter on me. YEAH! I’ll never be huge like Ah-nuld, but drinking weight gain and pushing myself to increase my weights constantly has definitely shown me that your body will adapt.
As I said: If you’d like to join Fitocracy, please feel free to use the code below. It’s only good for 99 more uses, so please don’t sign up unless you really intend to use the service. But if you do, take the code, sign up, and get started. Feel free to join the GeekDad group if you like, but staying a member is not a requirement after you are signed up, although we’d love to have you stay a member of the team. And if you end up enjoying Fitocracy.com and want to help the developers, consider paying $45/year to sign up as a Fitocracy Hero — it adds a Title feature to your name (you can choose from different titles as you reach new levels) as well as advanced looks at new features that are being rolled out.