**AI-Powered Fitness Training Apps: The Efficacy and Potential**
**The Rise of AI in Fitness Training Apps**
As AI continues to revolutionize various industries, the fitness world has also embraced this technology. OpenAI’s ChatGPT and other AI-driven apps, such as Fitbod, FitnessAI, and Freeletics, provide workout routines and promise results similar to those achieved with a personal trainer. In terms of accessibility, these apps offer great value to consumers, with subscription costs ranging from $70-100 per year, equivalent to the cost of a single in-person training session. However, questions arise about the effectiveness and longevity of these AI-powered fitness training apps compared to working with a real trainer.
**Exploring the Potential of AI-Powered Fitness Training Apps**
To gain insights into the potential of these apps, I had the opportunity to speak with Rishi Mandal, the co-founder and CEO of Future. Future is a digital fitness coaching app that virtually connects individuals with elite performance fitness coaches. Boasting the largest team of fitness coaches from professional sports in history, Future has been leveraging machine learning and AI to customize and optimize workouts for users.
**The Role of AI in Personalized Fitness Plans**
Similar to meeting with a personal trainer at the gym, a Future coach creates a personalized fitness plan for each user. However, Future coaches enhance their process with AI, expediting what used to be a time-consuming task. Additionally, Future members wear smartwatches that allow trainers to monitor their vitals during exercise. Users can follow their workouts, communicate with their coach, and track their performance through the smartphone app.
**Addressing the Barrier of Adherence**
Despite the potential of AI in creating excellent workout programs, Mandal argues that it fails to address the historical barrier of adherence. Pure AI programming may generate a great plan, but it lacks the personal touch and motivational cues that humans can provide. Mandal believes that the magic lies in the collaborative effort between machines and humans. While a machine can build a program, a human can fine-tune it to accommodate personal preferences and provide that extra push to stay motivated.
**Future’s Approach: Enhancing Coaches with AI**
Future employs machine learning and AI to assist coaches in two areas: the IQ and the EQ. The IQ involves creating safe, effective, and adaptable programs, while the EQ focuses on identifying the best time and method to reach out to members. Unlike other AI-powered fitness apps, Future’s unique advantage lies in its extensive human-labeled dataset, which tracks not only workouts but also adherence and performance.
This dataset allows Future’s trainers to craft tailored programs and monitor user adherence. They can utilize AI to build programs while still having the option to create customized plans from scratch. By leveraging the collective expertise of its trainers, Future strives to bridge the gap between AI and human guidance, providing a more personalized and sustainable approach to fitness.
**The Power of Proprietary Datasets**
Mandal emphasizes that the biggest winners in the AI world are not necessarily those who build the algorithms but those who possess the largest and most detailed proprietary datasets. The ability to collect and analyze vast amounts of data on user behavior, preferences, and adherence allows for the creation of more effective and personalized fitness programs. With Future’s wealth of data, trainers can better understand different customer types and tailor programs accordingly, maximizing the impact of AI algorithms.
As AI-powered fitness training apps become more prevalent, it is essential to assess their effectiveness compared to working with a real trainer. While these apps offer accessibility and affordability, they may struggle to address the historical barrier of adherence. Future, however, takes a unique approach by combining AI technology with human guidance, creating personalized and sustainable fitness programs. By leveraging extensive datasets, Future aims to enhance the effectiveness of its trainers and provide users with a more tailored fitness experience. As the fitness industry continues to evolve, the collaboration between AI and human expertise holds the key to achieving optimal results in personal fitness journeys.