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Fitocracy review

Kat Orphanides
17 Mar 2012
Our Rating 

It's still rough around the the edges, but Fitocracy's attempt to turn fitness training into an addictive online game has already proved to be a massive success

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Muscle-bound barbarians and athletic amazons are MMORPG staples, but the players themselves are more often associated with pizza, sugary soft drinks and expanding waistlines. Fitocracy aims to turn that stereotype around by applying MMO-style quests and achievements to real life. Instead of levelling up a character, the game encourages you to level up yourself by rewarding your real world fitness activities.

Parts social network, parts RPG, there are elements of Twitter and Facebook in the status posts, workout logs and the system for giving props to other users' workouts. Superficial though they seem, it's really rewarding when you realise that other users have recognised your hard work.

Fitocracy tracking screen

Like most of the other games we play, Fitocracy rewards us with experience points and shiny achievement icons

Another key element is the active forum. It's strictly moderated to keep it a safe and supportive environment for even those new to the fitness world and is regularly frequented by competitive athletes, professional coaches and dieticians, as well as martial arts proponents of varied disciplines such as wrestling, pole dancing and mountain climbing. This makes it a great source of information and support, regardless of your preferred activity.

The social network appearance might be off-putting to some, but the shiny achievement award icons could make a difference - we're particularly proud of the ones we earned for cycling 100km and deadlifting our own body weight. It can seem a little futile if you're at a stage where you're using walking and other low-impact activities to improve your cardiovascular fitness, as the big points are in weight lifting and extended endurance activities such as swimming, cycling and running. Fitocracy is also a tad unpolished in places - the game's planned RPG-style stats and PvP challenges have yet to be rolled out, although both on are on the developers' schedule.

Despite its rough edges, Fitocracy really does help you develop your fitness, using the same compulsive urges that keep MMO players devoted to their characters and guilds. It's also genuinely fun and produces a real sense of achievement, rather than a sense of guilt over hours wasted in front of the PC. Over the last six months, we've added 30kg to our deadlift, knocked the time it takes us to run a mile down by over three minutes and dropped around 15% body fat in the process.

Fitocracy Profile & Stats

You earn points by tracking your activities, whether you're into weightlifting, rock climbing or salsa dancing

The quest system is an important factor here. Some simply challenge you to do something new, such as the introductory powerlifting quests, which gives bonuses just for picking up a barbell for the first time - while others get harder as you progress, much like going from killing ten boars to slaughtering a nest of dragons. The community elements are fantastic, providing plenty of support, advice and user-generated quests. There's a fair bit of creativity involved, including challenges built into a table-top RPG style storyline.

Fitocracy is at its best if you already have or are trying to establish a regular routine based on strength training, athletics or endurance events. If you like the idea of going on quests and earning achievements which represent real-world development and progress, Fitocracy could be a perfect fit. Best of all, it's free and immediately puts a wealth of resources, encouragement and fitness expertise at your fingertips.

Fitocracy is just about to come out of beta, with an iPhone app on the way. However, just in case it's not gone public by the time you read this, you can get an account immediately by visiting www.fitocracy.com.

Details

Price£0
Detailswww.fitocracy.com
Rating*****

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