Best App for Six-Pack Abs
Crunch chart: The Home screen charts your progress, graphing the most crunches you did in a single set during both regular training and crunch battles. The app’s training sessions are built around sets of crunches. After an initial test to gauge your crunch talent, CrunchFu gives you an every-other-day training schedule, gradually building to 200 crunches at once. The app counts aloud as you complete each set (yep, it talks), prompting you to rest two minutes before continuing to the next set.
Good form: CrunchFu starts you off with simple, clear instructions for doing crunches the right way. Illustrations show where to place your arms, how high to lift your shoulders, and so on. The app does its part to enforce that form, too. As it counts off your crunches, the app hollers “Half!” when you haven’t done a full crunch, and it cautions, “Slower!” when you’re crunching too quickly.
Location, location, location: CrunchFu is finicky about the position of your iPhone. You’ve got to hold it just so, pointing in the right direction, in order for the app to correctly detect and count your crunches for you. The no-nonsense instructions are clear about how to hold the device, and it’s worth taking a moment to review the quick-start help screen to understand how it works.
Training: The app comes with ten weeks of training sessions. When you begin, CrunchFu asks you to do as many crunches as you can to recommend your starting level. Each session consists of several sets of crunches, and CrunchFu counts ‘em out loud for you. The app comes with a grating robot voice, but you can get other voices (a drill sergeant and a British dominatrix) if you promote the app with a Twitter or Facebook status update.
Belly battle: Test your stomach muscles against another user (or the app itself) in battle mode. The player who does the most crunches in a single set wins. If you don’t already have someone you want to challenge, you can pick someone from the CrunchFu “leagues,” which list other CrunchFu users by similar ability. You always earn points when you do crunches, but you earn double points for a victorious battle.
Among the least uttered phrases in the English language, “Stomach crunches are delirious fun” has gotta be in the top ten. CrunchFu might just change that. The app turns a gut-torturing chore into genuinely fun, gamelike play. CrunchFu uses your iPhone’s motion detector to count your crunches, rack up points, and even challenge friends, strangers, or bots to “crunch battles.” And hey, if dreary crunches can be a compelling video game, anything’s possible—even a washboard stomach.
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