I should probably start by saying this isn’t my first post, though it may look like it is. I decided to delete absolutely everything I’d ever written and make a fresh start on WordPress. This post is about Gorilla Workout, my favourite fitness app.
I’ll give you a bit of my own background to start with, which will hopefully show why I like it so much, then I’ll talk a bit more about my experiences with the app.
A Bit About Me
I have a moderately serious heart condition, in that it doesn’t limit my everyday life but it does stop me doing certain things. Competitive sport, weights, intensive cardio, drug-fuelled orgies, they’re all out. Well, I’ve never asked my doctor, but I presume the latter is out. I have to go to the hospital once every couple of years to be checked out, and therefore I try to keep my weight and health well under control, even though joining a gym would be pointless. A few years ago I caught the end of a film, Inside Man. It ends – MILD SPOILER ALERT – with a man doing pushups in what looks like a prison cell. As the daydreamer I am, this ‘prison cell’ scene got me thinking – is there a set of exercises you can do that require absolutely no equipment? A couple of days later, a website I was reading led me to Heckr’s Gorilla Workout. It was January, and obviously with many people making their New Years’ Resolutions to be fit and healthy the feature was about apps that could help. A limited version of the app is available for free, but for the negligible sum of £0.79 you can buy a full version which features all of the exercises. Once I’d read the description, I knew I’d found the app I was looking for.
Every exercise in Gorilla Workout requires absolutely zero equipment; it’s just you and your bodyweight for resistance. This is where the name comes from, I suppose, as gorillas don’t tend to pop down to the gym and do some heavy sets, but when one adult male gorilla is as strong as eight olympic weightlifters, that ‘bodyweight’ stuff seems OK. Admittedly there’s all kind of real, legitimate reasons as to why a gorilla is stronger than a human, but it’s a bit of fun. Plus, until gorillas can a) read and b) undertake any kind of litigation, I think everything will be fine. It’s not as if they ever made a film about apes taking over the world. What’s that? Oh. Erm… The app will have you doing about 50 different bodyweight exercises, ranging from modified pushups for beginners to burpees and whatever other torturous punishment may lie beyond. I’ve done burpees however, so I’m not sure if there’s anything more torturous. I hate them. Of course, being able to ‘do’ 50 different exercises isn’t really the issue here. It’s in the variation and repetition that your body will benefit, and thus on first run the app will ask you to choose which of four ‘levels’ you feel best corresponds to yourself. Within those levels are 30 ‘sets’, calculated to benefit all but the fittest person in the world. One day may see you doing a load of work on your legs, then the day after you’ll combine core work with some muscle stretching or upper body exercises. It is brilliant.
I’ve never been ‘fat’ but I certainly have been out of shape. I’m approaching it at the moment and have turned back to GW to arrest the slide. The first time I used it I was 10st 11lbs, which to our American friends is 151lbs, and to our metric brethren is 68.5kg – nothing calamitous (I’m 5’9″ or 175cm) but I wasn’t happy. My body fat was around the 17% mark too, which I also wasn’t happy about. I’m back there now too. In the 30 days I used Gorilla Workout on Level 1, I lost 5lbs and my body fat fell to 15%. I had to buy a new belt AND then put new holes in that new belt, and I needed to replace my 34″ jeans and trousers with 32″ ones. I began to see some abdominal muscles too. But that was 2012. Now it’s 2015 and I’m 10st 12lbs, and according to the Bluetooth scales I bought recently, I’m touching 19% body fat. While there’s always some variance between different sets of scales, I don’t much care for 19% and it is for this reason I return to Gorilla Workout.
I’ve just come in from doing Level 1, Day 5 (I’ve used it sporadically over the last few months but not properly, hence only managing four days) which was 10 sets of 2 Clockwork Jumps, 8 Leg Pull-Ins and 3 Pushups. I had a Bluetooth Heart Rate Monitor on and took screenshots of my results. If you’re unfit like me, this will still get your heart rate up. I stupidly stopped the tracker after my first two sets, so you’re only looking at the last eight sets (hence the eight peaks on the red HR graph) but hopefully this still serves as a ringing endorsement that GW can get your heart beating, your blood pumping, and hopefully, your body burning fat.
I’m going to have to try and smash this. It’s good for me; I’ve proved that in the past. All I need to do now is get back into it and see if I can replicate the results. If I’ve inspired you to give it a look, here are some links…