Amid the health and fitness app boom, one workout program flexes stronger than the rest, and that’s FitStar: Tony Gonzalez.
The video app, which is now available for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch, takes users through a series of exercise routines demonstrated by the Atlanta Falcons’ superstar tight end, and is even compatible with wearable tech like UP by Jawbone, as well as the Fitbit Aria Wi-Fi Smart Scale. Version 2.0 of FitStar launched just last week featuring iOS 7 optimization and a new user interface to go along with a host of new exercises catering to everyone from novices curious to give the app a try, to hardcore workout warriors utilizing FitStar’s advanced training techniques to workup a good sweat.
And Tony Gonzalez is with you every step of the way, no matter what level you are, as the NFL great actually performs the exercise routines right along with you on your device through a series of slick videos, encouraging you to keep up the pace, while demonstrating the proper technique every step of the way. Upon completion, you’re then able to share achievements with friends, track your progress, and setup future workouts that will continue to push you to that next level.
The entire experience plays out more like a video game than some kind of exercise DVD that was transferred to mobile, and that’s exactly what the FitStar team (many of whom started out in the video game business) set out to accomplish.
“We started in 2012 with the intention to build a fitness platform on mobile,” says Mike Maser, FitStar’s CEO and co-founder. “We felt that most of the fitness apps that are out there are very utilitarian. They’ll track you, they’ll measure you, and do all of these things that might appeal to your brain, but they don’t inspire you. They’re not experiences, and even the ones that try to be experiences, they don’t adapt to you, and they’re more of a one-size-fits-all program, almost like those exercise DVDs.
“In the app space, we just felt like everything was so plain, that we wanted to bring some of the excitement from the gaming space and the gaming dynamic of adapting to you to mobile.”
Based on a series of algorithms, the FitStar routines actually adjust to your performance, with the premise being that the app offers you your own personal trainer shrunk down to fit on your mobile device.
“And when we say personal we mean that our trainer, our program changes and grows or gets easier with you, depending on your goals,” says Maser. “We launched in June on iPad only, because we really wanted to show off our videos and our production values. But now with iOS 7, we wanted to redesign the product to take advantage of the new features, as well as launch the product on the iPhone, which is by far our most requested feature. We’re really happy with how the app has translated to the iPhone and iPod Touch, and we think it’s now the perfect device to have with you to continue your workouts. Even when you’re traveling, you always have your phone at your side, so that means that you always have a way to get your workouts in, no matter where you are.
“The big thing moving forward is that FitStar is a platform. It’s not just about our one app with Tony. This is our cross-training effort, and this is our focus of what we’re doing now, but we’re designed to grow with these devices, like heart rate monitors, as they continue to come out. We’re also looking into new curriculum, so yoga is huge, Pilates is huge, and these are all domains that we think about as we extend our platform into new verticals. “
The FitStar app offers a free basic workout program, but if you want to unlock the entire library of exercises and all of the features, the premium product cost is $4.99 per month or $49.99 per year.
Adds Maser: “I’m actually really proud of our free product. You get a lot of benefit starting out with FitStar Basic, as we offer multiple workouts per week for free. Then as you move into our premium product, we offer more expansive workouts and unlimited content. We have a really high attach rate from free to paid compared to a lot of games. Most games do about 2-percent, but we’re getting over 10-percent, with our average selling price over $15 per transaction. So with hundreds of thousands of downloads just on the iPad alone since June, we’re pretty happy with where the metrics are going.”
Where does FitStar rank among iOS apps? Follow its progress on AppData.