BodBot Workout App: AI Review and Alternative for Smart Lifters in 2022
Poor understanding of lifting principles and safety issues
You want to get bigger and stronger. You found the BodBot workout app. You wonder if it’s as good as its marketing says. I’ll tell you in this independent review.
BodBot says you can get a personalized workout plan using AI based on your:
- Experience level
- Equipment available
- History of injuries
While this seems awesome, I discovered that they’re are a baffling amount of issues with this app. However, this only became clear after I spent time reviewing the various rating websites as well as personal reviews.
Why this review is different
Many of the reviews fail to give a full picture of the app or they only give their experience. Further, many reviews did state that exercises were too hard but they were unable to connect this to the apps poor understanding of lifting principles. Still, no review actually examined the safety of the exercises. You’ll find this review does all of this.
For example, many of the reviews were in stark contrast to each other such as claims that the app would never deliver a challenging workout to claims that it delivered very high level plans to mere beginners. Once I finished with the reviews, I was left with the impression that the ones designing the AI really don’t understand the basic principles of lifting which makes “AI training” worthless”.
When I compared the programs that BodBot produced to the legit programs produced by the AI strength training app from Dr. Muscle, the difference was obvious. To illustrate this, the best comparison to these apps is having a bad trainer in your pocket or having a great trainer in your pocket.
Who am I to say this?
My name is Garett Reid and I have been in this industry for over well over 10 years. I have earned my Masters in Exercise Science as well as hold several high level certifications such as NSCA CSCS and my CISSN. Further, I’m also an Executive Council Member of the NSCA Strongman SIG. To be clear, I’ve been around a lot and I’ve seen a lot. As a result, I can easily distinguish between a plan developed by an educated individual and one who’s trying to look like an educated individual.
BodBot Review & AI App Alternative—in A Nutshell
In case you’re in a hurry, are the highlights of my review:
- Bodtbot is a fitness app which claims to use AI to produce personalized programs
- Dr. Muscle is another AI app but was designed by PhD holders and experts in the field. It is for anyone who wants to build muscle and strength with programs based on real scientific prinicples. For example, they use AI which REALLY does create plans specific for your needs. Still, it has plenty of additional options if needed but it keeps you focused with what you need to do to succeed. It really is like having a trainer in your pocket
Bodbot caused a lot of red flags to go up for me. For instance, I saw numerous errors in exercise selection, rep schemes, as well as multiple complaints concerning customer service. Even worse, I saw multiple instances where exercises where being performed in manners that would cause injury along with poor explanations. In conclusion, using “AI” to produce fitness programs doesn’t matter if the ones who designed it don’t understand basic fitness principles.
Bodbot is having a cheap trainer in your pocket while Dr. Muscle is having an elite trainer in your pocket.
Bodbot app: a brief review
The fitness app Bodbot uses what they refer to as AI to create a program specifically designed for a trainee. In order to do that, Bodbot walks a client through a list of questions pertaining to their lifestyle. Next, Bodbot also claims to offer a wide range exercises so that the trainee can workout at home, the gym, outside, or wherever.
They offer a free version with limited access to the app. Some reviews say this is all they needed while others say it wasn’t enough. Therefore, you will need to try it out to see if you need to upgrade. Concerning their upgraded versions, they currently have two different payment options:
1 Month: $19.99
1 Year: $59.99
Issues that arose with Bodbot after research
I first performed my general searches for reviews of Bodbot and found a good amount of personal experiences as well as your general reviews sites (Trustpilot, Google store, Apple App store). After reading all of the reviews, I was left with a very confused interpretation of Bodybot. For example, some of the reviews were awful while some were great. Also, many of the reviews directly contradicted each other such as one saying the app never gave difficult exercises while another saying the app gave extremely advanced programs (which I confirmed after looking at the program).
All in all, I felt as though the designers were learning about strength and conditioning as they were developing the program and were just inputting random plans that they have seen without the knowledge of how to actually prescribe them.
One thing I found odd was that the rating on Trustpilot.com was only 3.5 stars where Apple and Google were 4.5-4.7. This is a large gap which is hard to explain.
Improper exercise selection
After browsing through all of the reviews, I began to notice some issues with the exercise selections.
For example, some individuals complained that the app always delivered exercises that were way too easy; this was even after they gave feedback to the AI system. On the other hand, there are also others claiming exercises being way to hard.
Even further, there are many reviews about being prescribed “exotic” exercises. From my experience, trainers who don’t really understand training prescribe “exotic” exercises as they look unique and special. Even further, I was unable to identify any type of rational programing after I put in information. For example, a random leg isolation would be thrown in at the end of what seemed like an upper body day or one session included four main movements but they were very similar to each other; the shoulder press paired with a hand-stand push-up and dumbbell shrugs paired with a barbell shrug. To be clear, this had no relation with the rest of the week and it’s just a poor design.
Improper rep schemes
In addition to the odd exercise selections, the rep schemes and intensity delivered were all over the place. For example, individuals were given programs that were way too intense and consisted of 24 sets of deadlifts in one week. Eventually, this resulted in the user canceling.
I took a look for myself on their website which will generate a workout and confirmed what I thought was true. After I changed the setting from beginner to advanced, the programs spat out wildly different exercises and rep schemes with seemingly no reason; it looked like they were trying to “show” off.
For example, a program would consist of decline pushups and towel pull aparts and then jump to performing bench press 8X4 and handstand pushups with 2×6. No idea where they got these numbers from or how trainees can make this kind of a jump, especially with highly skilled exercises.
Poor instructions of exercises
A common theme found within the negative comments were concerned with poor instructions of exercise. For example, many of the claim that the instructions were unclear and hard to follow. However, the problem seemed to also exist within the video samples. What this means is that the video would show a different exercise that didn’t match up with instructions.
As a coach, I know that new trainees need very clear instructions or else they will spend too much time trying to decide what to do. For example, the two pictures below show a lady doing a bench press with her wrists hyper-extended while the man is pulling the lat-pulldown ball significantly lower than he should (It’s a bit hard to catch with a screenshot). To be clear, while not all mistakes will cause injury, the hyper-extension of the wrist on pressing movements is definitely going to end up giving you troubles down the road (Colado & Garcia-Masso, 2015).
Bugs within the interface
Another common complain dealt with a plethora of bugs within the system itself. For example, many users complained that the app would freeze in the middle of workouts or act “glitchy” as they worked out. This included randomly shutting down.
In addition, there were complaints by users which the developer acknowledged. For example, many of the features aren’t available without Wifi.
Poor customer service
Even more worrisome were multiple complaints of fraud where individuals were charged without their knowledge. This included being charged before free trials were over or charging after request of cancellation. To be clear, this made up the large majority of complaints on Trust Pilot. Still, every negative review claims they tried to contact customer service with zero call backs or resolution.
Lack of customer service seems to also be involved with a number of other complaints, even if the review was overall positive.
Dr. Muscle is a better AI fitness app
Even though Bodbot claims to be an app that uses AI to produce individual programs, AI is only as good as the creators. Unfortunately, Bodbot left me feeling that the creators of the AI randomly plugged in movements and rep schemes they thought we good without fully understanding basic lifting principles.
On the other hand, the creators behind AI are true professionals in the fitness industry. In fact, the team consists of individuals whom hold their PhD’s and are active within the world of exercise science. I can tell the difference immediately when I look at the different programs they produced.
Dr. Muscle uses real exercise science creating their AI
This is by far the biggest (and most important) difference I see when I compare Dr. Muscle to Bodybot. While both use a similar process of asking questions to generate a personalized training program, the workout that is created by Dr. Muscle is very similar to something I would write for my clients. This is because the creators of the app are experts within the field.
The difference between writing a program for a beginner and advanced individual does not consist of using entirely different exercises; it has more to do with simply using lighter weights. For example, a beginner and advance both need to do horizontal pressing. While the beginner may do dumbbell chest press, an advanced trainee will do bench press with the difference being the weight used. Compare this to a beginner doing banded shoulder press and an advanced trainee doing handstand pushups which is what Bodbot might suggest.
Dr. Muscle uses science-based principles
As mentioned above, one of the tell-tale signs of an app or trainer trying to look smart is examining the complexity of the workout. In the world of strength and conditioning, complexity generally equals less grasp of of training principles. This is because progressing in fitness is actually simple IF you follow the correct principles.
Dr. Muscle relies heavily on three principles in their programs:
1) Progressive overload is the backbone of any effective training program and simply states in order to progress, you must gradually place greater demands on the body
2) Periodization s a practice that alters volume and intensity as you progress to both mitigate fatigue and introduce variety in the stress
3) Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE) is a type of self-regulation that lets a user dictate how hard an exercise is. After being researched multiple times, RPE has been found to be an effective way for trainees to monitor fatigue and progression (Day et al, 2004).
All three of these are firmly backed in science and used throughout the world of strength and conditioning.
Dr. Muscle offers great customer service
The team behind Dr. Muscle is extremely attentive to both their customer base and their app itself. After reading some of the reviews that bring up issues with Dr. Muscle, their teams always answers and more importantly, takes their feedback into consideration.
Comparing this to the multiple negative complaints towards Bodbot accusing their team of giving zero feedback.
Dr. Muscle is consistently upgraded
The team at Dr. Muscle is always working on upgrading their system to improve both performance and function. Compare this to many complaints against Bodbot which claimed it felt as if the designers never do anything to improve their app or address concerns.
Having a team who is up to date with changes in the tech industry is key to providing an app that doesn’t get left behind. For example, if Apple makes changes to their app store or download features, Dr. Muscle will certainly be there to adapt whatever they need to on their end.
Bodbot & Dr. Muscle side-by-side comparison
Table 1—Side-by-side comparison of Bodybot and Dr. Muscle
|Who is it designed for?||Hard to say as I could not see any overall goal||Trainees who are looking for a quality program to follow to build muscle and strength while improving body composition|
|Set-up time||The process length will depend on your level of expertise as their intake asks a lot of questions with many different options. This may be confusing for some||Simple and straightforward that takes less than 5 minutes.
Simplistic goal specific design.
|Program Design||Very confusing as the the programs ranged from easy body weight modification exercises to performing advanced-elite rep schemes such as 8×4 or 10×1. For example, this included randomly jumping to something like 3×8 handstand pushups which not only require advanced strength, they require a great amount of skill and healthy body composition.||AI designed by leading muscle building researchers creates a baseline program from your information
including training experience. Monitors each exercise using your effort and ‘reps in reserve’ to adjust
loads depending on actual performance.
Suggests adjustments and rest ‘de-loads’ based on your individual progress.
|Home workouts available?||Yes||Yes|
Gallery 1—Screenshots of Bodbot App
Gallery 2—Screenshots of Dr. Muscle App
Drawback: Dr. Muscle’s quality comes with a bit higher price
There’s a reason the app is called Dr. Muscle; the head developer has earned his PhD in exercise statistics. To be clear, this means the quality of the team behind Dr. Muscle is top-notch in both education and experience. As a result, the price is higher than Bodbot; however, when comparing the effectiveness of the app, it’s definitely worth the price.
Verified Reviews for Dr. Muscle
For more reviews, check out our customer videos and feedback page.
FAQ: Free trial, cancel anytime & more
How much does the Dr. Muscle workout app cost?
Learn more on the app’s free trial page.
Can I cancel anytime?
Yes, there is no contract so you can cancel whenever you want.
Is there a free trial?
Absolutely, Dr. Muscle comes with a 2-week free trial that gives you full access to all of it’s features
Summary Of Dr. Muscle vs. Bodbot
Both of these apps claim to use AI to develop the perfect individualized program for their users. However, only one of them deliver on the promise of providing quality programs; Dr. Muscle. After reviewing both what each app offered, it became clear to me that Dr. Muscle was the app I feel comfortable with recommending to friends and family.
Due to this, you’re probably wondering “Why?” The answer is easy in that the programs delivered by Dr. Muscle align with what I actually prescribe to my clients.
Dr. Muscle is more expensive than Bodbot but it’s definitely worth the money if you are serious about getting in shape. For example, it’s more expensive then some other apps but it’s definitely cheaper than a live personal trainer. Still, Dr. Muscle even delivers better programs than a lot of personal trainers I have seen in my career.
My Take On Bodbot
If I had to come up with one word to describe Bodbot, it would be “confusion”. To be clear, I found the wide range of reviews and programs being used to be all over the place which is generally not a good thing. On the contrary, proper strength and conditioning for hypertophy and strength is actually quite simple; if you know what you’re doing.
In addition, it seemed as though the team behind Bodbot was learning about training as they were designing their fitness app. This is due to them seemingly trying to utilize such a wide variety of techniques and exercises for different users; I could picture them seeing one website that had a group of beginner trainees using a set of exercises and then looking at advanced trainees on another website using different exercises. To be clear, I got a very strong feeling that the designers do not fully understand proper strength and conditioning when the developed their AI system. In conclusion, I was left with the impression they were trying to show their “knowledge” by showing the amount of exercises they know rather than on how to actually apply them.
Still, there are all the other issues of bugs and poor customer service. In realty, even if someone is looking for just a very basic and “casual” fitness app, there are many more better options. That being said, Dr. Muscle offers a 100% free trial with no-hassle so you would only benefit from trying it out.
Try Dr. Muscle for Free & Get an Evidence Based AI Program
Customer leaving Bodbot: "It seemed to always get stuck"
Posted by pockems on Reddit.