Have you heard of Fitocracy? If not, you probably will soon. I’ll quickly outline the social network for you and why I find that, despite the dangerous nature of the network, it is something all people should use.
But what is it?
“Fitocracy turns fitness into a social game. Surpass your fitness goals by turning exercise into a game. Earn points for your workouts, unlock achievements, and tackle special challenges to push yourself forward. Level up in Fitocracy and level up in real life.”
This sounds awesome, right? Imagine if Facebook motivated you to get out of your seat and go to the gym. It would be not only the largest, but most helpful social network ever. Unfortunately, Facebook’s popularity further promotes a sedentary lifestyle, unless you are a person that becomes motivated by the infamous photos of people that work out and want to show it.
Naturally, I signed up and became a Fitocracy member. My schedule allows for me to go to the gym a few times a week and I figured I had nothing to lose.
Motivational– The “game” is strangely addicting and is as simple as the description states. You complete exercises to “level up” and compete with your friends in a group or against the Fitocracy user base. Additionally, there are achievements to unlock for amount of weight lifted and time spent doing activities.
Promotes Recording– Fitocracy also stimulates usage of record keeping for those that work out. People rarely keep track of the weight they are lifting and the amount of reps. Fitocracy makes you do this, which is great for weight gains and tracking progress.
Unhealthy– Fitocracy indirectly promotes unhealthy working out. The human body is not like a game. Our joints and muscles need time to heal. Being awarded points to beat on our bodies is not healthy.
For example, more points are awarded for the more abuse you do to your body. The more weight I bench press, the more points I get. If I do 5 sets of 15 reps at 200 pounds, I am both doing damage to my body and helping my Fitocracy score.
Furthermore, if I spend 2 hrs at the gym, I will score more points than if I did a healthier half hr workout
Michael Liposwki, author of Pure Physique: How to Maximize Fat Loss and Muscular Development, writes about creation of muscle for a healthy lifestyle. Workouts should be limited in time and frequency; many gym-goers abuse their body with long workouts and actually slow development.
Repetitive, strenuous workouts, while good for your Fitocracy score, are not good for your body. My biggest problem with Fitocracy is that it tells people lifting more weight, more often is good for your body. If you can understand that “beating” your friends is not the goal of Fitocracy, but rather being healthy is, then I recommend you join Fitocracy. As it is still in Beta, request an invite from me and I will send it to you.
The potential for Fitocracy is incredible. Once Fitocracy creates its smartphone app, be prepared to see gym-goers taking time to log their workout totals in their phone. People need something to make going to the gym fun.
I commend Fitocracy for making health and fitness fun for the many people that are connected to the social world.
Do you use Fitocracy? How do you like it?