Mike

“GAIN constantly introduces me to new exercises that I would never ever do on my own otherwise. The app keeps my body learning new things and helps me power through ruts.” – Mike Barash, GAIN Fitness user

At GAIN, we believe fitness is about the many different kinds of positive benefits you get from working out. What do you personally gain from being fit?

Discipline, pride, enjoyment, structure, new exercises and discovery, and competition (against myself and others).

What do you like about the GAIN app(s)? 

GAIN constantly introduces me to new exercises that I would never ever do on my own otherwise. It’s easy to get in a rut and do the same stuff every day; GAIN helps me mix it up and keep it fresh. The app keeps my body learning new things and helps me power through those ruts so that I’m always progressing and moving forward.

It’s also really easy to use.  I can load a new workout and be ready to go in seconds.  I love that it integrates into everything else I’m doing seamlessly. For example, I can listen to playlists on Rdio and Spotify, go in and out of the app with ease and without interruption, staying focused on my routine the whole time.  

I usually use GAIN in the gym, but when I’m traveling or at home, or just have 15-30 minutes to exercise, it’s super easy to create a workout that’s built around my time, access to equipment and fitness goals. 

What advice would you give someone else just starting out with a fitness goal — especially those who just downloaded the app?

Take it slow, respect the process, and put in the time. GAIN isn’t a miracle worker; it’s a guide and a personal training partner that can help you achieve your goals and then some if you follow the plans, create workouts to push yourself, and exert yourself.  Like anything else, there are no shortcuts.

What’s been the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome in reaching peak fitness? How did you overcome it?

I wouldn’t say I’m at peak fitness, because I’m always trying to improve. But, staying committed can be a challenge. It’s important to stay true to the plan. I’m human though; I’ll allow myself to slip up every now and then, but then get back on track.

What was it that initially motivated you to commit to being healthy?

I’ve always been healthy and fit, but went through what I like to call a “rough patch”. I just let everything slip too far. Next thing I knew, I was wearing fat pants, big shirts, feeling like shit and looking even worse.  GAIN was a huge motivator and pace-car for me as I started back down the road to being fit. 

How do you hold yourself accountable?

My clothes need to fit. I need to feel good about who’s looking back at me in the mirror. And I need to see progress along my fitness goals.

How did you discover GAIN?

The founder and CEO is a friend. When I first heard about Nick’s vision, I wanted to try it immediately. I couldn’t wait. When I tried it, I became a believer. And while every instinct tells me to be a skeptic, the results speak for themselves. I’ve used a ton of fitness apps, and none of them even come close to GAIN in terms of experience and results.

Ben

“I downloaded just about every single fitness app that looked interesting. GAIN was the clear winner for me.” – Ben Lewis, GAIN Fitness user

Can you share any fitness stats regarding your progress? 

In the last 6 months, I’ve dropped 75 pounds. My body fat has gone from 35% to 20.6%, waist has gone from 51 to 37, blood pressure from 135/85 to 110/70, and my 3-mile time has dropped from around 40 minutes to 25:46.

Amazing. Nice work! At GAIN, we believe fitness is about the many different kinds of positive benefits you get from working out. What do you personally gain from being fit?

I have two daughters, ages 4 and 3 months. In the short-term, I’ve gained the ability to enjoy time with them much more. For example, the day before this interview, I took the 4-year-old to a water park. There’s an 8-story high 347-foot water slide there that she’s just tall enough to do, but I have to carry both of our mats up the stairs.  If I had gone into this summer in the shape I was in back in December, there’s no way I would have wanted to do that more than once. We did it four times and I could have kept doing it if she’d wanted.

As for the long-term, I’m an older father. I’ll be 62 when my youngest graduates from high school. I’d like to be around and still nimble then.

What’s been the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome in reaching peak fitness? How did you overcome it?

Well, I don’t consider myself to be at “peak fitness” quite yet, but I’m working toward it! That said, probably my biggest challenge was getting back to the gym in December and January when I was very overweight and couldn’t do much. It was embarrassing.  Several of my first forays back into the gym were at around 4am, but eventually I just told myself I was being silly and needed to suck it up.

What do you like about the GAIN apps? Which ones do you use?

I use the Cross Trainer and Shockwave Protocol apps. I love that I can create custom strength training workouts and plans based on my fitness goals, level of fitness, and equipment available.  I also appreciate that it displays the amount of weight and repetitions I’ve completed the last time I did a specific exercise, and how it times my rest periods in between sets.

I even use the apps when I don’t have access to a gym. For example, I was visiting my hometown less than a month ago when I was fairly well down the path to fitness, and used the GAIN app to build a workout for me to do in my brother’s basement with no equipment. I worked up quite a sweat and even experienced a little soreness the next day due to working some muscles at some angles that I hadn’t been working in the gym, evidently.

Nice. How do you hold yourself accountable to make it to all those workouts?

I like to set both short-term and long-term goals. The short-term ones help keep me focused on the long-term. Also, making my weight profile public on sites like RunKeeper and LoseIt is a big help. It makes me want to keep it up because I know that people are watching. Even doing an interview like this is helpful in that regard. I don’t want to be the guy who went from fat to fit to fat again.

What was it that initially motivated you to commit to being healthy?

A combination of factors. I found myself not wanting to be in photos and getting winded when doing outdoor stuff with my oldest daughter. When my wife was pregnant with the youngest (born in April 2013), it hit me that I’d be in my 60s when she’s in high school.  I realized that it was time to get it done.

Do you tend to workout independently or with others?

Independently. I’ve read that for motivation/accountability it’s often best to workout with others because you won’t be willing to “stand up” a friend, but I tend to be self-motivated and frankly couldn’t imagine having to wait for others to complete sets or having to run at a pace that fits someone else.

How did you discover GAIN?

I did a search in the iPhone App Store “weight training” or something similar. I downloaded just about every single free app that looked interesting and maybe half of the pay apps that had good reviews. I then played around with every one of the ones I downloaded (probably around 10 different ones) and GAIN was the clear winner for me.

What advice would you give someone else just starting out with a fitness goal — especially those who just downloaded the app?

If you’re just starting out, when using the app, I’d recommend creating a 3 or 4-day-per-week “fat loss” plan, then once that plan is completed, switch to “muscle” for the next few weeks.  Aside from that, there are seven general points that I found helpful to keep in mind:

  1. Get moving.
  2. Take advantage of the information and technology available to you in today’s world.
  3. It’s ok to start small.
  4. Body fat reduction begins in the kitchen, not in the gym.
  5. Just because you have started exercising doesn’t mean you can now eat as much as you want and whatever you want. Consider counting calories for a while, if not permanently.
  6. Set some long-term goals AND some short-term goals.
  7. With exercise, push yourself, but don’t overdo it.

You can follow Ben’s fitness journey on his blog

Users can now purchase GAIN’s “digital trainers”—ranging from Pilates to interval training to bodybuilding—on gainfitness.com; trainers purchased on the web will be auto-synced to mobile and can be used to train on either smartphone or desktop.

Previously, our amazing suite of GAIN trainer apps have only been available in mobile form (as iPhone apps).  Beginning today, eight of these fully customizable, content-driven programs and workout experiences are available for purchase or free download on our website, gainfitness.com. Prices range from $7-13 for digital trainers and $3-7 for content expansion packs, while some trainer downloads are completely free.

purchase_web

We’re excited to launch digital trainers on the web for three main reasons:

  1. Not everyone has an iPhone
  2. It’s now easier to workout anywhere (home, hotel or office)
  3. “It just works”

Not everyone has an iPhone

We get that not everyone has an iPhone or iOS device. We hear from (sometimes angry, threatening) Android owners nearly every day. We feel your pain.

As a company, we obviously want to make our products available to as many people across as many devices as possible, but that’s often not possible for a small, scrappy startup with limited resources. We have to focus our development efforts, and hone our expertise, in order to survive and thrive.

Almost everyone has access the web at least some of the time. So we’re inviting all audiences with Internet access to try out and train with the unique and awesome workout experiences that are Method Yoga, COREwheels, Road Warrior and others.

The brains (customizable workout programs) and brawn (audio-visual instruction) for each of these digital trainers were created by our brilliant, multi-talented, real-life trainer partners, including:

  • Pattie Stafford
  • Nate Miyaki
  • Reed Taylor
  • Ari Akerstein
  • DH Kiefer

web screen

Initially, two of our trainers are missing from the mix—Basketball Pro by Dr. Marcus Elliot, and WOD Unboxed, by CrossFit Coach Ranier Guadduang. There are some  additional technical difficulties in implementing those, but we’ll get them up and running on the web as soon as possible.

It’s easier to workout anywhere

Part of our mission as a company is to free fitness from constraints and roadblocks—you don’t need a full gym or fancy gadget to get a great workout in (although, if you have those, that’s great too!). Our users work out with their mobile devices in all kinds of places—at home, the office, hotel rooms, even outdoors.

In fact, only 40% of GAIN users workout at the gym, where the mobile form factor is ideal. That leaves the majority working out at home, an office or a hotel room, where access to Internet and a larger computer screen are common. When you have the luxury of more screen real estate and a steady web connection, we want to take full advantage. Now that is possible.

One caveat to note: not all of the audio guidance cues, which are an integral part of the mobile device experience, will be available on the web initially. We felt that, since the web is a much more visually guided experience, the audio component was not as important vis-à-vis the mobile device (which is often tucked away in your pocket during exercise). So let us know what you think, and rest assured that we’re planning to bring the full audio experience to the web ASAP.

“It just works”

We believe working out should fit seamlessly into your busy lifestyle. And that all the progress you track should be stored in a single, secure place, available anytime you want it, via any device. That’s why any item you purchase on either platform (web or mobile) will always, automatically synchronize with the cloud and be available on all other devices that run GAIN.

That’s a long way of saying, if you buy a digital trainer or expansion pack in one place, “it just works” in all other places.

Michelle

“I decided to teach myself yoga via an app in the comfort of my own home. With GAIN Fitness, I can now proudly say that yoga completes my day, every day.” – Michelle Grace, GAIN Fitness user

Which of the GAIN apps do you use? 

Butterfly Yoga. I like the granular customizations to enable an assortment of workouts. I also appreciate the clear voice guidance paired with images so it feels like there is a real instructor working with me. The results presented at the end showing workout data and calories burned keeps motivation up, along with the history graph to track progress. You can make a difference even if you only have 15-20 minutes to spare.

What was it that initially got you into Butterfly Yoga?

My boyfriend’s commented on positive physical and mental benefits from being challenged through yoga. It became my motivation to also experience the empowerment of those effects and bring balance to my day, yet I didn’t have access to an offical class. I decided to be disciplined enough to teach myself yoga via an app in the comfort of my own home. Choosing GAIN Fitness was a no-brainer based on stellar reviews and loads of options. There’s something for everybody at every experience level. With GAIN Fitness, I can now proudly say that yoga completes my day, every day.

Yoga everyday — that sounds like a nice way to live! At GAIN, we believe fitness is about the many different kinds of positive benefits you from working out. What do you personally gain from being fit? 

Not only do I gain physical strength and flexibility but I also gain mental clarity and awareness after each session, making me feel strong and sharp throughout. Challenging myself is a gratifying feeling that only comes from applying an honest effort – so I do my best to make every session count! Two months in, I already feel my posture and mental focus have improved, which helps me through demanding workdays. My core muscles feel more purposeful (and defined) and my boyfriend notices the improved tone in my shoulders.  I must be doing something right! And if so, I am dedicated to achieving that experience every day. The results are euphoric! I’ve never felt stronger in my life.

What advice would you give someone else just starting out with a fitness goal — especially those who just downloaded the app?

There’s nothing wrong with starting off small and slow. Once you get the hang of things, gradually increase time and effort as comfort allows. Keep positive and know that you are one workout closer to better health and your “fighting weight”, which is incentive to look and feel your best. Look forward to each session and the rewarding results. Soon it will change from something you HAVE to do and become something you WANT to do.  P.S. The responsiveness and encouraging support from GAIN’s Twitter feed further sweetens the deal. :)

 

Morgan2

“It’s nice having a simple way to create custom workouts on the go, and to have the tools to customize my workouts based on where I am.” – Morgan Cook, GAIN Fitness user

Can you share stats regarding your progress?

I went from 190 lbs to 173 lbs in about 5 months, took 3 inches off my waist, and dropped from a Large t-shirt size to a Medium.

Wow! What advice would you give someone else just starting out with a fitness goal — especially those who just downloaded the app?

If you’re struggling, acknowledge it, embrace it – and gain something from it. Even professional athletes struggle with some workouts and practices. It’s ok. That struggle is how you know you are making a difference. When it comes to goals, don’t set unrealistic goals and don’t be afraid to take small steps until you feel comfortable to take the bigger steps.

And stay focused on those goals. Easier said than done, I know! But that’s the key. The app can help you in more ways than you think, so make sure you really explore it.  For example, you can keep track of your previous workouts in order to look at the improvements you’re making and benchmark what you need to improve. That can be incredibly encouraging.

What do you like about the GAIN app(s)? Which ones do you use?

I tried a few other apps before I came across GAIN’s Cross Trainer app and it’s by far my favorite. It’s nice having a simple way to create custom workouts on the go, and to have the tools to customize my workouts based on I where am, whether that’s the gym, home or outdoors. It’s also a major bonus to have the app explain each exercise and the proper way to perform it, in case it’s your first time doing it or you just need a little reminder.

Do you tend to workout independently or with others?

I work out independently in order to focus 100% on what I’m doing. I’ve found that I get distracted easily and goof off when working out with a friend.

What’s been the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome in reaching peak fitness? How did you overcome it?

My greatest challenge was staying dedicated. Giving up beer, staying out late, and eating deliciously greasy cheeseburgers were pretty much the toughest for me. But after seeing the results, I didn’t look back. I don’t miss it one bit.

What was it that initially motivated you to commit to being healthy?

In December of 2012, my friends convinced me to sign up for the Zombie Run 5k Obstacle Course in Austin, Texas. Because I committed and spent money on the race, I knew there was no going back – and so I started training.  And then I got hooked. I ran it in about 50 minutes. After having such a blast with that race, I searched and found the Spartan Races. I signed up in January and started training. Knowing the Spartan would be an extreme series of challenges, I trained twice as hard for 5 months. During these five months, I lost nearly 20lbs and finished my race in the top 1%. Each day that I saw more results, I grew more motivated.

At GAIN, we believe fitness is about the many different kinds of positive benefits you get from working out. What have you personally gained from being fit?

I have become healthier, more confident and lead an overall happier life now that I’m fit. I was a decently healthy guy, but I don’t think my body would have held up very long given the way I was treating it.  I was not only inactive, but not eating as well as I could.  I dropped nearly 20 pounds in 5 months with a good combination of running, working out and eating better.

There are so many benefits from being healthier that you’ll be rewarded every day.  You wake up in the morning and feel great. You can run from the house to the car and not be out of breath. I used to be extremely self-conscious about taking my shirt off at the lake or pool. I wasn’t a big guy or anything, but it bothered me. The GAIN workouts completely helped me reverse that.  After losing weight and gaining muscle, I don’t spend time worrying about things like that anymore. And that confidence overflows into other aspects of my life, like my career and personal life. I don’t believe I could have accomplished any of that without GAIN Fitness and their Cross Trainer App.

Lisa-watermark4

“I love that the apps are easy to use and talk me through my workouts just like a personal trainer would.”  

What advice would you give someone else just starting out with a fitness goal — especially those who just downloaded a GAIN Fitness app?

I would tell someone who is just starting their fitness journey that it isn’t going to be easy, but it is so worth it.  Before I got a handle on what my fitness goals were, I had many setbacks.  The GAIN Fitness apps really helped me set my goals and helped hold me accountable. When I first downloaded the Cross Trainer app, I started a 4-week plan.  It helped get me started and into the habit of working out. Eventually I started to use the app to create my own workouts as well.

The key for me was to set minor goals for myself.  I knew that if I set a huge goal and didn’t reach it I would get discouraged, and when I first started my journey I did just that. I learned that the smaller goals were more important and would eventually lead to me reaching my bigger fitness goals.

What do you like about the GAIN app(s)? Which ones do you use?

I love that the apps are easy to use and talk me through my workouts just like a personal trainer would. I use the GAIN Strength and GAIN Yoga apps. I like that I am able to work out in the comfort of my home and still get a great workout that I would get in the gym with a personal trainer. I also like that I can choose the length of the workout so it doesn’t matter if I only have time for a 15 minute workout or I can do a whole hour.

What was it that really got you going on this fitness journey?

It was one event that really got me to realize that I needed to make changes to my lifestyle.  My husband and I had just gotten back from a mini-vacation to Niagara Falls over Christmas 2011 and when we returned I was going through the photographs that were taken and I was horrified at how I looked.  I was not healthy and was not happy with the person I had become.  It was at that moment I decided I needed to make permanent lifestyle changes.  My husband was and still is my biggest motivation.

How do you hold yourself accountable? Do you schedule your workouts?

I used to just work out when I felt like it, but frankly that wasn’t very often. When I downloaded GAIN Fitness, I created a plan and that helped hold me accountable, because I hated seeing that red mark on my streak when I missed a workout. In January 2013 I also created an Instagram account just to track my journey.  Knowing that I was inspiring other people with their journey made me want to stick with mine.

Do you tend to workout independently or with others?

I used to workout alone. However, eventually my husband began working out with me.  It was great motivation seeing him making changes to his lifestyle and having him there to push me when I wanted to throw in the towel.

How did you discover GAIN?

It was actually my husband who came across a GAIN Fitness app first and he immediately told me I needed to download it.  He knew I used to hate working out in a gym because I did not like people watching me workout.  With this app, I am able to get a great workout in the comfort of my own home and now that I am more comfortable working out in the gym I can use it there as well!

Can you share your starting weight and any other fitness stats compared to where you are now?

When I first started my journey in January 2012 I weighed 220 pounds.  My waist was 43 inches, my bust 45 inches and my hips also 45 inches. I currently weigh 166 pounds and my waist is 36 inches, my bust 37.5 and my hips are 38 inches. I used to be a size 14 and am now a size 9.

I absolutely love this app!

You can follow Lisa on instagram at @lisa_journey_.

WOD Unboxed launches on GAIN Fitness; new Pocket Mode feature enables kinetic data input without removing phone from your pocket.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA—(April 12, 2013)—GAIN Fitness, the ultimate mobile personal trainer app platform, has announced the release of WOD Unboxed, an iPhone app created in partnership with certified CrossFit trainer Ranier Gadduang, to customize workouts and guide exercisers through interactive workout experiences.

This is a two part announcement highlighting a couple major launches expected to go live in App Store on Friday, April 12, 2013. One is a new app, WOD Unboxed; the other is a big new feature called “Pocket Mode” that makes tracking your training easier than ever.

All features and digital trainers are also accesible in our all-in-one app, GAIN Cross Trainer.

photo

Part I: “WOD Unboxed” – The New App

At GAIN, we strive to bring the most cutting-edge, fun and effective training programs to the hands (and pockets) of our exercisers. And the most groundbreaking thing in fitness right now is high-intensity, highly varied, functional exercise.

Then we tried it—the GAIN team got our hands dirty with a private class led by our friend and certified CrossFit trainer Ranier Gadduang. We loved it, and quickly came to understand that there is method to the madness, and that high-intensity, highly varied, functional exercise. can be adapted to make fitness both more fun and effective for almost anyone.

What Makes This App Awesome

At its heart, WOD Unboxed is a gamified approach to fitness—a fun, varied, efficient way to work out, a system of competitive social dynamics, and a collection of great exercises fused together with protocols that will push you beyond your comfort zones.

This style of training is guided by 3 key principles:

  1. Constantly Varied
  2. High Intensity
  3. Functional Movements

Squat Snatch

It employs exercises from traditional disciplines of Gymnastics, Powerlifting, Olympic Lifting and cardio conditioning, and combines them to prevent a sole focus on any one particular fitness quality. Power development, for example, might be mixed with cardio conditioning. Or strength may be mixed with balance and coordination. Some WOD Unboxed workouts mix everything together.

The movements used in WOD Unboxed are inherently safe and “functional” (although some exercises are technically complex and/or ballistic in nature, making them easy to get wrong without proper form development).

Each day, an exerciser is challenged with a new Workout of the Day—aka “WOD.” These diverse, seemingly randomized workouts very rarely present the same challenge. The sheer variety and challenge of WODs mean that your body will be constantly adapting. This results in a very intense fitness practice that elevates your well-rounded fitness to new heights.

Then there’s the scoring system, which forces a very public reporting of your WOD score on a whiteboard. Not for the faint of heart, this forces a competitive mechanic and builds a strong sense of community.

WOD Score

On the surface, high-intensity, highly varied, functional exercise. s not for everyone. The intimidation factor of reporting your score on the whiteboard is enough to scare many newcomers away.  Joining a gym also isn’t cheap, and even though some specialized gyms (referred to as “Boxes” for their gritty, bare bones feel) are sprouting up like weeds, there are still only a few thousand of these specialized training centers in the U.S.—not exactly in everyone’s backyard.

What Makes the App Awesome

Our new WOD Unboxed app solves both of these problems. Our software’s ability to custom-tailor workouts to your time, equipment, and fitness level means that newcomers can use  training methods with basic bodyweight exercises like push-ups, sit-ups and burpees, where risk of injury is low.

And with the app on your iPhone, you essentially get a digital  coach to carry along wherever you go, allowing you to do at your local Box, a standard gym or even at home.

The complex mechanics of this dynamic training style were what made WOD Unboxed such a fun challenge to develop. We dove in deep to understand high-intensity, highly varied, functional exercise, and worked closely with Coach Ranier to adapt the programming and competitive elements into the infrastructure and user experience of our app platform. We wanted the WOD Unboxed mobile app experience to mimic as closely as possible a trainer-led session.

Flow Mode 2

And we’re not done yet. We’re hard at work bringing more of the “coopetition” group dynamic that dedicated exercisers love to the app.  Stay tuned!

If you haven’t tried high-intensity, highly varied, functional exercise yet for any reason, now is the time to give it a go. And if you’re an experienced exerciser who has ever missed a class due to travel, schedule conflicts or whatever else, consider this app a way to double-down on your WOD consistency.

Part II: Weight Tracking Finds its Flow with “Pocket Mode” 

As part of the WOD Unboxed app launch, we’re unleashing a new feature called “Pocket Mode” that will change how GAINsters interact with their iPhones to track their training.

If you work out with your phone in pocket (the most common use case when tracking your training at the gym), you’re going to love Pocket Mode. When you finish an exercise, you can quickly “Double Pat” the phone (two light slaps in quick succession) to tell the app that you’re ready for the next exercise — without taking the phone out of your pocket!

This feature uses the iPhone’s motion-sensing capabilities, analyzing the motion patterns to determine whether the motion is a Double Pat and not just exercise motion. We spent weeks tweaking the variables of motion detection to get this feature to work just right. It’s already very good at distinguishing real Double Pats from false positives, but can likely still be improved. We’re looking forward to collecting user feedback once this feature out in the wild, so don’t hesitate to send us feedback: feedback@gainfitness.com.

Pocket Mode also gives you a second way to communicate with the app while it’s in your pocket: Vertical Swipe.  Just reach into your pocket and  swipe your finger upward on the screen’s surface to confirm exercise completion.

Pocket Mode Tutorial

At first, Pocket Mode will only be available for WOD Unboxed. Tackling the high-intensity, highly varied, functional exercise experience really drove the creation of Pocket Mode, since the time-driven nature pushes you to transition between exercises as fast as possible. But we plan to soon bring these two new features to other apps in the GAIN Fitness family in order to reduce tracking friction and bring a more continuous “flow state” to your various workout experiences!

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