Body 2.0 Review: GAIN Fitness Butterfly Yoga App
Overall score: 4 out of 5
GAIN Fitness is a digital personal training app for the iPhone. The basic app is free, and additional trainer “packs” ― i.e. additional workouts — cost a few dollars extra.
The app is based around three training packs: Butterfly Yoga with Pattie Stafford, Road Warrior with Nate Miyaki, and GAIN Strength. Each feature videos with a real-life trainer who guides you through your workout.
The app as a whole is generally organized in an efficient, clear way. When you sign in, you enter your age, height, and weight so the performance tracking is, at least theoretically, authentic.
You then pick one of the three tracks and build a workout. The free content definitely gives you enough to get started, but I think to not get bored you have to buy an “expansion pack,” i.e. more sessions. The program builds custom workouts drawing from as many packs as you have downloaded. But just using the free version at first, I got a good sense of optionality.
For each workout you pick a goal: health, fat loss, muscle, relaxation. You then pick length of time ― anywhere from 10 minutes to 90 minutes ― and a location ― either home or on the go. From there you choose whether you want the workout to have a restorative component or not, and the tempo, which can be fast, medium, slow, or “automatic.”
The program uses your choices to create and title a workout for you and gives you a picture by picture overview, so you can see what you’re getting into before you start.
At the end of your workout you are given metrics: calories burned, something called “work units” and “work units per minute,” which according to the description is a function of body weight moved over distance, and the percentage of workout completed. There is no biometric heart rate sensor functionality, so the calories may not be accurate, but it’s nice to get the feedback.
I decided to go for the Butterfly Yoga. Caveat: I’ve been a Vinyasa yoga teacher for six years, so I’m pretty picky when it comes to any yoga instruction. But despite being a notoriously tough yoga customer, I liked GAIN’s yoga.
I created a couple of workouts in the Butterfly track. For example I chose fat loss as a goal for twenty minutes, at home, at automatic speed, and was given the “Butterfly Life Force Continuity” workout.
There is calming music with clear pictures of Stafford doing yoga. She adds simple alignment cues to her instructions and has a nice voice and a good practice to visualize. The sequence overall was simple, straightforward, and well-chosen. Most importantly I felt good afterwards.
My criticism is that while I fall into yoga poses pretty automatically, I think someone who is new to yoga would find themselves having to pick “slow” for tempo, and possibly spending a lot of time looking at the video to figure out what to do, which is distracting. The sequence to me also wasn’t what I would call “fat loss” inducing, and some of the transitions felt confusing as if the program had skipped a side or an instruction.
That said, it’s a nice way to do led-yoga at home or on the go, and while she didn’t totally shake up my yoga world, Stafford is a good teacher and carries the format well.
Score details: 4 out of 5
Editor’s note: This Body 2.0 review is part of Health 2.0 News’ video review series. Stay tuned for more of this virtual expo, and if you’re going to be in San Francisco Oct. 7, join us for the live interactive expo — Body 2.0 at Terra Gallery is SOMA.