PushupFu turns iPhone into fitness gaming network

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Just in time for those new year resolutions, PushupFu is a new paid-for iPhone/iPod Touch application designed to get you fit, via press-ups. There are now a lot of fitness apps available for the iPhone. Current leader WeightBot lets you weigh yourself daily. Other like iPump let you email your progress to virtual Gym buddies. However, there are none I know of which have turned exercises into a Wii Fit-style game where you can pit yourself against others on the same service – exactly what PushupFu does. The app was conceived, designed and coded by UK-based geekpreneurs Jof Arnold and Benjie Gillam under a new boostrapped venture, FuApps, which will produce exercise apps and mini-games based on fitness.

Using PushupFu is pretty fun. Once the iphone or iPhone Touch is strapped to your arm, PushupFu uses the device’s accelerometer to count your pushups. It will even shout instructions like “Slower!” and bitch at you if you don’t get it right, just like a personal trainer. Once you’ve completed a set of pushups your progress is recorded for you to monitor. The difference is that you can actually uses these stats to challenge a friend to a pushup battle from within the application. With the iPhone acting as a third party verification that you did actually do the pressups, you effectively get an instant gaming network. You score points for doing pushups and more for winning battles. A bit like the “100 pushups” meme meeting the Wii Fit. That’s assuming they get enough people to fork out the £1.79 / $2.60 first.

Right now Uk iPhone owners have to browse to the app from the App Store > Categories > Health and Fitness > Release Date (tab at top) – PushupFu is currently the 3rd entry. US visitors can get it direct from this link to the App store.

  • cuan

    Nice one Jof, well done ! its a sweet app….
    can we get a demo of you doing the 63 pushups ?


  • http://www.veedow.com Fabio

    Good job Jof! Sounds like a funny/useful app I will definitely try!

    Ideal for braggers too… “yeah, I can do more push ups than you wimp…” :)

  • http://www.gymfu.com Jof Arnold

    Thanks for the kind words Mike! :-D

    Thanks Fabio, Cuan. And yes, there will be video demos! Am a bit.. um.. “ill” right now. Cough.

    Note that we’ve not tested it on 1st Gen devices so welcome testers! (Can get you adhoc version I guess)

  • http://www.gymfu.com Jof Arnold

    NON-US TYPES (especially UK).

    I think you can get it on the app store, but right this second not from that link. Dunno why. Caching at Apple’s end probably.

    Instead, try iTunes > App Store > Health & Fitness

    All else fails, blame Steve ;-)

  • wtf

    wtf is this an iphone BLOG or a tech startup blog.
    Time to unsubscribe to this crab… seems that your new year’s resolution was to go Iphone… and leave tech behind….

    Techcrunch = fail

  • http://uk.techcrunch.com Mike Butcher

    People who take the trouble to read this article will note that this app is from a new startup called FuApps

  • http://saltlicklabs.com Colin

    Very cool concept, love the direction… it’s very similar to an exercise app ( Pocket Workout ) we have coming out in the next few days except ours is less about social challenging and more focused on a routine for the non-gym users.

    My only gripe with PushupFu is the interface. For something so well thought out, I would have liked to see more polish on the design. If it wasn’t for TC exposure and other news sources, I think it would have hurt their sales significantly. To their defense, completely customizing the interface is pulling teeth from a donkey. Gotta pick your battles with a small team.

  • http://www.gymfu.com Jof Arnold

    Colin – thanks very much for the feedback. More like a donkey pulling our own teeth out! Lol.

    Any chance of picking your brains over a few of those points by email? my email is as http://jofarnold.com/contact-jof-arnold/

    • Jof

      NVM – contacted you directly via your site. Cool-looking apps btw!

  • http://justdothis.com roman

    how accurate can the iphone be in knowing if you did a pushup correctly? or any exercise for that matter?

    perhaps this app is just for fun and not sport, and judging from how much the farting app has made, these guys may be rich by Monday morning

    • http://www.gymfu.com Jof Arnold

      Hi Roman,

      It tracks your movement. Obviously it can’t know if you are doing it perfectly (we have some videos coming soon to help you) but as an aid as part of a gym routine it really is pretty good.

      I remember the first time I used the prototype in the gym and laughing when it gave me a C+ for doing too many half pushups. Since then my pushups have got a lot better with a much fuller range, so it definitely works. Better still, the competitive aspect really keeps me motivated so it’s a win all round.

      I dunno about getting rich by Monday though! Lol.

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  • http://www.justdothis.com roman

    OK, just used the app and it was hilarious and fun to use, bravo guys!

  • http://stubblog.wordpress.com Stuart Grimshaw

    What a great app! Saves me having to keep my spreadsheet up to date and stops my spotter cheating me out of pushups because he wants to win!

    The link in the article works in the UK too now.

    Good work guys.

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  • Jules Morgan

    Got a sneak preview of this after the TechCrunch Pitch event last month. Simple concept, clean execution. Found it refreshing.

    Liked it and hope it does well. ‘Adult’ version – “Move your ass you lazy motherf*****” would be sweet.

    P.S. Screenshot on the site which suggests kneeling while doing pressups is OK only applies if you’re 80+

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7DYN7hP-swo wickedceltics

    I like the App idea, but I think it would get old pretty fast, very much UNlike the Wii Fit. It’s all about personal preference though, which is usually the easiest option for working out.

    This is a video I just posted yesterday about my own Wii Fit obsession. Thought you might like.

  • http://www.gymfu.com Jof

    Well, if we mess it up you may well end up being right! But I’m pretty confident things will work out long-term. Nice vid ;-)

    Don’t know how we’ll get that past apple! Mind you, if they are allowing fart apps who knows? (Was great to meet you at TC event btw. Good old Mike and his events)

  • http://auntchiladas.com Candice Nagel

    My son-in-law is another famous Mike Butcher. Head pitching coach for the Los Angeles Angeles! So that makes my daughter “the butchers wife!”

  • http://uk.techcrunch.com Mike Butcher

    Candice Nagel – Please give the other Mike Butcher my best regards.

  • Yash

    I am proud to have figures out how the app works without a video. As you do pushups, your arm will go from straight to horizontal. iPhone only needs to detect motion in that axis to figure out your pushups. Ingenious.

  • http://www.broadstuff.com alan p

    Eagerly awaiting the YouTube video with Jof and Benjie showing how 100 pushups are done :D

    byw guys, can you get round to scheduling LazeFu in your roadmap next quarter – bigger market :D

    • http://www.gymfu.com Jof Arnold

      @alan – I can do 100 pushups in a week. Does that count?

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