Best App for Six-Pack Abs

Screenshots

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CrunchFu Screenshot

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.

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CrunchFu Screenshot

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.

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CrunchFu Screenshot

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.

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CrunchFu Screenshot

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.

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CrunchFu Screenshot

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.

CrunchFu
Top Pick

CrunchFu

Version: 1.4.2
Website: GymFu

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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7 Comments

The makers of CrunchFu also have several similar apps to turn your workouts into point-building play. PushupFu, SquatFu, and PullupFu all work essentially the same as CrunchFu, but they're tuned to track the motion unique to their particular exercises.

All rely on a free account at gymfu.com; when you first launch the app, you're prompted to create an account or, if you already have one, enter your existing account details. It would be handy if account integration worked a bit better across all apps. For example, if you unlock new trainer voices in one app, it would be ideal if those voices were also unlocked in the others.

Speaking of voices, there's currently only one way to get additional voices other than the standard robot voice that comes with these apps. You have to send out a tweet or Facebook update that includes a link to the gymfu site. In exchange for this bit of promotion, you get additional voices free. That's a fine option, but personally, I would have preferred to buy the voices through an in-app purchase rather than inject advertising into my Twitter or Facebook accounts.

Thanks for the review Josh!

Hopefully we'll come up with a better solution to the "tweet from each app" issue in due course - we did it for legacy technical reasons and we weren't expecting to run it as a promo for such a long time. I'll do some pushups as penance...

On that note, if anyone else would prefer in-app purchases for the voices let us know and we'll see what we can do!

--
Jof, GymFu.com

I have been using CrunchFu for a few weeks now and have gradually been going up the chart on how many I have to do. Unfortunatly it wasn't till my boyfriend told me that I wasn't doing Crunches, I was doing sit ups, apparently theres a big difference! There should be something on the app that states how to do a crunch as I've been doing the wrong thing for weeks now!

Ignore that,

I've found it, I just didn't fully utilise it.

I'm on the way to strong abs now.

I just want to say that I love the APP! I am having trouble hearing the voices though. Any tips? I have an iTouch and not an iPhone. Please Help

It wont be long before there will be a stream of people toning abs on the subway soon.

I can just say: this app is really well done! Congratulations for the idea and the programming skills.

Thanks,
Simon

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