(A note here – I started writing this entry quite some time ago, last year in fact, and it has sat in my blog’s DRAFT folder for quite some time. Since then I’ve moved on to logging things in Weighttrainning.com and Runkeeper.com and don’t use Fitocracy anymore, but since I went to the trouble of writing it I figured I’d post it anyway. This is nothing against Fitocracy – Fitocracy is great. But I needed a place where I could export all of my workout data for free into a standard format that I could use in a spreadsheet – Fitocracy does do this but not on their free account).
In September a few years ago, after I had lost most of the weight I had been planning on losing but still wanting to continue gaining some muscle and dropping a bit more in the belly (sorry for the run-on sentence) – I started looking around for sites to log my exercises.
There are many, as you might know.
Some concentrate on various areas of exercise or weight loss or both; food, biking, running, weight lifting, etc. But the good news is most usually let you log whatever you want to, even if they do focus on certain aspects. There are exceptions of course.
But then I heard about a new one, one that was still in Beta at the time called Fitocracy. I got an invitation from someone else as the site hadn’t opened yet, and I knew right away that I had found an interesting place that suited quite a few of my needs.
Fitocracy is built more around the social aspect of exercise rather than other sites that aim more toward other facets of exercise-logging. I want to use the word ‘competition’ here because that’s usually how it’s described, but that implies all sorts of things that sometimes can have negative connotations.
While I can be competitive – I find that I don’t necessarily enjoy the stress of it when it comes to exercise. I want to do it for relaxation and health, if I don’t enjoy it I’m not going to continue doing it and I’ll move on to something else. And this site a very relaxed, laid-back place that just happens to allow you to compete for points against other people in a social environment.
It’s a great mixture of everything, and a great place to get encouragement from strangers, whether they are newcomers to exercise or experts in a certain area. I have to say it because it’s said about Fitocracy often – “It’s the Facebook of exercise!”
You should check out this site whether you are new to exercise, trying to lose weight with exercise, and/or exercise is a longtime friend. Whether you are a runner, a bicyclist, a weight lifter, a cardio nut, etc.
On to the website itself.
I think you’ll find that it’s pretty easy to navigate, and to figure out what you are looking for one you get used to it. Since the Beta they’ve changed the design somewhat and I think it continues to get better and better, sometimes they do a fairly different re-design, Facebook-style, to change things up in what they believe is improving the interface for others. Sometimes there are growing pains, but for the most part it works great. And of course you’re always going to have people who don’t like ANY changes, but I think they’ve done well at improvements.
And if you like and use Runkeeper.com and you log running, biking, rowing, or whatever there – you can have Runkeeper share the information to Fitocracy so you don’t have to add it on both sites.
It works well (though once in a while I used to have some issues with Runkeeper itself), and once it’s sent to Fitocracy you can edit some of the information on Fitocracy that can’t be edited on Runkeeper.
Just a couple of notes though, about logging things from Runkeeper on Fitocracy. Firstly you need to hit “Save Workout” in Fitocracy to have it actually save and log the workout that was shared from Runkeeper. Otherwise it just sits there in the Track tab on Fitocracy for your unlogged exercises for the day.
And secondly Fitocracy won’t share your information in the other direction i.e. if you log it in Fitocracy it won’t send it to Runkeeper. Other exercise tracking websites do share, like WeightTraining.com.
I have to say – Fitocracy, for the most part, has been one of the most friendliest online places that I have come across. And I’ve been online since the 80′s (just in case you remember the days of BBSes). I love the Internet, and I love the social aspect of it – but where ever I go there seems to be dicks/douchebags who make even the friendliest place a lot less enjoyable.
But so far Fitocracy – for some weird reason, has a large number of nice, friendly, helpful, encouraging people. Very, very unusual. It’s a great place to hang out and I find myself sometimes spending a few free moments there instead of on Facebook or other social sites.
You can join groups, join quests (where you have a certain amount of time to finish a particular exercise or series of them), post pics and messages, and of course log your workouts.
Logging your workouts is easy. Yet there are a few idiosyncrasies, like some things you can’t log more than thirty reps per set on, etc. You get used to it; work around it.
And also, one of the things that causes people a little trouble is finding equivalent exercises. People call various routines by many different names, and sometimes you have to use a partial search as you enter things to find what you are looking for. And sometimes you might even have to go to Google it to find the differing names that people call similar exercises and routines. In a pinch you can go to the forums, which has a LOT of info along these lines (note – since I wrote this the forums have been shut down, you have to find your information via their helps and FAQs or groups). You can also ask if you can’t find something, but make sure you search first.
It’s a great site, and worth a try to check out.
(As noted above – I started this entry quite some time ago and some parts may be slightly out of date but the general functions are the same).