If you’re really interested in getting my attention, the phrase “Do the exact opposite” is a good place to start. Now it’s not just enough to say it. There needs to be a lot to back up that statement. But on the rare occasions when there actually is great support for it, that sentence has led me down some really incredible paths.
The most recent path has led me to a complete rethink of everything I know about fitness. And in this case, it wasn’t a person that told me I was doing everything backwards. It was a book.
Body By Science
The book Body By Science by Dr McGuff will take everything you think you know about exercise, toss it in a blender and shred it to pieces. Then it will show you why you should be doing exactly the opposite of what it is you are likely up to.
I won’t get too deep into the details but the basic premise is that in order to get the most out of exercise it needs to be brief and intense with long stretches of rest in between. Throw out your beliefs about having to hit the gym 6 days a week. Ignore the message about how 45 minutes on the treadmill is the bare minimum.
Exercise needs to be intense and brief. And that’s it. How brief? Try 10 minutes once a week. Do I have your attention now?
To say that this book will blow your mind is an understatement. In a very real way, the book can also save your life.
That sounds like hyperbole until you think about all the benefits that come with having good fitness and all the costs that come without it. I can’t encourage you enough to buy a copy of the book and read it. In fact, buy one for your parents while you’re at it.
My wife and I have been following the routine for a while now and we absolutely love it. Beyond making us stronger, it’s a rare thing that can get us to both workout together which is exactly what we do.
While doing so, we soon wanted to track our results. Looking around, there wasn’t a mobile app built for the Body By Science way of working out.
Weight lifting applications that are available are insanely complicated. Most require you to create an account, configure a workout routine which means picking weights, reps, sets, etc. And none that I could find tracked Time Under Load - the time that you are able to perform an exercise which is the true measurement that we’re looking to track when following a high intensity training (HIT) program as advocated in the Body By Science book.
For a while, we used google sheets to track the results but that got clunky in the gym, flipping between the timer app and the sheet.
So I decided to build a simple app myself.
TUL is exactly what you want an in HIT tracking app. It’s simple. Dead simple. Here are the two main screens. I would explain what they do but I honestly don’t think they need it.
Picking your exercise
Timing your exercise
There is no place to configure your sets, reps or such since it doesn’t track sets or reps. It assumes you’re doing a single set to failure approach (one set of each exercise).
If you’re currently following any kind of high intensity training program, then I’d love if you gave TUL a try. Let me know how you like it. If you have some suggestions on how to improve it, I’m open to ideas. Ping me on Twitter to let me know what you think.
And of course, if you like it, please let the rest of the world know with a review in the store.