I recently sat down with the outdoor fitness guru, Kevin Wimmer, to discuss the idea behind his new "Fitness Anywhere" app, that I have personally used several times: on my back deck, in the park with my kids, and even during soccer practice. As a trainer, I can usually come up with a routine wherever I find myself, but there are certain times we all feel uninspired and want someone else to plan the workout for us; otherwise, it might not happen, or it might not happen to its fullest potential or intensity. Sound familiar?
The City Skinny: When coming up with the idea for a fitness app, were you aware that there are several (thousand) other fitness apps?
Kevin: I had heard that and discovered similar findings in my extensive research. Haha! However, there isn’t an app uniquely like Fitness Anywhere. It is 100% original in its premise.
The City Skinny: How so?
Kevin: Most general fitness apps can be categorized into 1 of 2 formats.
1. Apps that assume you have access to a gym and all of the equipment a gym COULD potentially provide. This would include your membership to a gym and associated costs. (And the desire to be IN a gym…)
2. Apps that focus only on Bodyweight exercises, which are absolutely fantastic in principle as a “no excuses” premise, but lack the ability to take advantage of other strength-training, mobility-focused exercises that benefit from some use of equipment.
The Fitness Anywhere App allows YOU to be in control of your workout experience by identifying usable “equipment” and “obstacles” wherever you are and however you want to sweat to optimize your workout.
The City Skinny: How do you identify this equipment with the app?
Kevin: The app is preloaded with several dozen options typically found in outdoor environments where this app encourages you to take advantage of. Parks are the most ideal setting, but certainly the woods, a backyard, the playground, a hotel room, or yes, even the gym will meet the criteria for tagging equipment/obstacles. The process takes only seconds and if you don’t want to use something, just don’t tag it.
If you tag a “High Bar”, depending on the fitness level you choose and workout goal you want, you should expect to see some hanging movements like pull-ups, dead hangs or vertical abdominal exercises. That’s where this app surpasses what's out there - it doesn’t assume you have a pull-up bar, but it also doesn’t assume you have nothing to work with.
The City Skinny: I guess I never really considered the option of having a hand in identifying your own workout possibilities.
Kevin: In developing this app with Autonomy Labs, we were literally creating these codes from scratch. Most programmers can copy and paste a lot of code used to create apps because there just isn’t a lot of uniqueness out there. These guys programmed Fitness Anywhere by rolling up their sleeves and figuring out how to write this stuff. Its pretty amazing.
The City Skinny: So why “Anywhere”?
Kevin: Why not? Not only does the idea of working out wherever you are give you a “no excuses” mindset for getting your sweat in, but it also forces you to be present within your environment and perform within it- one might call that Functional Fitness. Of course the other primary reason is to get people outside and enjoying our beautiful world. So many people work inside all day, then head right into a gym before or after work further limiting their Nature Rx time. If its beautiful out, why not take your workout outside? If its not beautiful out, think about the additional challenge that adds to the workout, and your commitment, and your resolve. For people who already love being outdoors and running, hiking, biking, this app gives them the opportunity to stay outside and supplement their health and wellness in a more well-rounded way.
The City Skinny: It also removes the cost for a gym membership or classes, right?
Kevin: Certainly! And Fitness Anywhere is a Single Purchase app. Meaning, you buy it for $5, and you have it forever. There aren’t unlocks for separate fees, monthly subscriptions - it is literally ALL there once you download it. Unlimited workout configurations based on what YOU want.
The City Skinny: Who else do you see benefiting from this type of workout experience?
Kevin: Well, based on personal experience, I can certainly identify with the Work Traveler who is away from home, but potentially cringes at the 10’ x10’ hotel gym last updated in 1993. So many hotels have greenspace or parks nearby, you can create a workout in seconds and get a challenging workout done while you’re on the road for business. You could certainly use the app to create a quality, customized gym workout as well! Sticking with being away from home, I also see it for folks on holiday where you don’t have access to your gym, trainer, classes, but still want to stay on track. You could be sweating through bear crawls in the sand while hoisting driftwood over your shoulders crushing that beach body!
The City Skinny: That sounds kind of amazing right now!
Kevin: With such varied fitness levels accounted need for and the functional fitness basis of the app, kids can certainly play along as well for a complete and safe workout to get ready for sports or to train in between seasons.
The City Skinny: Is the app best used for solo workouts?
Kevin: Given how personalized it is to your workout Goal and Fitness level, it may not translate to a large group, but if you want to sweat with a friend, you could easily make some compromises when selecting equipment, obstacles, fitness level, etc., and then the app allows you to shuffle the workout (based on your selections) until you find just the right one. You can swap out exercises, as well, which not only gives you and a workout buddy an even playing field, but is also integral for those with contra-indications and the need to skip or avoid certain movements, another unique aspect of Fitness Anywhere.
You will also have the ability to Share the workout to social media to challenge a friend, or Save the workout to your location for someone else or if you want to come back to repeat it another time.
The City Skinny: Well for $5 it sounds like you can’t miss on this one.
Kevin: My thoughts exactly! Get out there - The World is Your Gym!
You can download the Fitness Anywhere app on iTunes or Google Play. But if you want to experience Kevin's one-of-a-kind workout first-hand, check out his classes at Woodland Mound Park and at his new location, Landen Deerfield Park.