FitStar

One of my biggest fitness challenges is how travel throws off any workout routine I manage to get into. It takes me weeks to get into a comfortable groove, then I travel a few days and it sometimes feels like I am back at square one when I get back. I've found that the obvious solutions of going for runs or using hotel gyms when away rarely work for me unless I am on vacation. It becomes an additional overhead on the trip.

About a month ago, I came across FitStar. It's an app with guided workouts. They have 4 programs: Daily Dose, Get Moving, Get Lean and Get Strong.

I started with Get Lean but found the workouts a bit too repetitive. I switched to Get Strong and I much prefer this program. 

FitStar is innovative because the workouts are adaptive. After every segment (e.g., 20 pushups), it asks you how it went (easy, ok or brutal) and the next workout will be tailored to that feedback. This means that it slows down the progression of segments you can't complete and it ramps up pretty quickly in areas that are too easy. This is an obvious improvement on video-based programs that are the same for everyone.

The workouts I've tried last ~30 minutes and burn ~300 calories. I am not too hung up on the number of calories but I find that working out in the morning drastically improves my day. 

On my last trip to Paris I just propped up the iPad on the hotel desk and did my workouts every day. I think it helped with jetlag but, most importantly, I didn't get derailed from my daily workout routine and was able to jump right back in when I got back home.

This morning I woke a bit late and didn't have time for the gym. I fired up FitStar, streamed it to my TV via AppleTV and I was done in 40 mins including getting changed and setting up. It doesn't get more efficient.

It's now on sale for 29.99/year, down from 49.99/year. Check it out, I think you'll like it.