Rather than document another tedious weight loss story, I would like to embark on a review process of the tools I have chosen to use. My hope is that this will help me stay the path better than I have done in the past.
My first choice in tools is the lolo BeatBurn Treadmill/Outdoor Trainer app for iPhone. I used this in the past and actually completed the program, but I did not use it regularly. I was also running rather than walking. Since I recently saw the greatest weight of all on my scale, and I have not been running since May of last year, I thought doing a full program of walking would be a good test of the app.
I did not have to start the app from scratch because my information is already in it, but the sign-up process is easy and straightforward. After creating an account, you set up your Burn Profile with your gender, height, weight, and age. You can choose whether to use Imperial or Metric settings. This information will work for all of the lolo apps, so if you decide to try something else, you do not have to put your information in again, which is nice.
Unlike some apps, like Runkeeper, there is no way to link to another location where your weight is automatically updated. You must update your weight in the app manually, though this is easy to do. This will also update in all lolo apps.
The next step is entering your workout settings. You choose your fitness level (Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced), program type (Walking, Walk-Jog, Running), workout length (15, 30, 45, or 60 minutes), Location (Treadmill, Outside), Treadmill Intensity Preference (Mix it up!, Speed, Incline) and if you want a Steady State workout. I chose Beginner, Walking, 45 minutes, Treadmill, and Mix it up!
A great change lolo made in one of their updates was allowing you to choose your music before you start a workout. You used to have to start your workout first and pause it in order to set up your music playlist.
The Music options allow you to use lolo Music, iPod Music, or No Music. This is also where you can choose to have beat-sync, which is the whole reason I originally downloaded this app. It was actually the Tempo Magic Pro app that led me to BeatBurn.
I had discovered the magic of running to songs that matched my steps per minute and immediately went about finding the BPM of every song I owned. I created Playlists according to a song’s BPM and even did some Playlists that gave me a warm-up and cool-down. It was tedious work, and there was not as much variety as I would have liked, especially at the faster paces. Then I found Tempo Magic Pro, and I was able to change the BPM of most of my songs without having “high-pitched chipmunk lyrics or slowed down zombie vocals.” I could finally use all of my favorite songs, regardless of how fast I was going!
The BeatBurn Treadmill app incorporated this technology and created a workout program with a trainer who tells you exactly what you needed to do.
There are some other options available for your music that are explained right in the app. I prefer to use my own, so I added lots of songs to my playlist by pressing the Playlist button. It is simple to add songs or remove songs you are tired of hearing. When you select songs, the app will tell you if there are any songs you can’t use because of DRM. Unfortunately, this includes anything bought on iTunes. Once you click Done, your playlist will process, and you’re ready to work out.
On the Workout menu, you can change your Workout Day. This was where I changed mine all the way back to Day 1 and pressed Start Workout.
I started out at 2.7 mph with an incline of 0% which was easy-peasy. I am glad to say I’m not that out of shape! The trainer, Brittany, talks to you for quite a while on the first day, giving you information about the program. The workout graph on the screen looks like rolling hills. If you find the intensity too easy or hard, you can easily change it by putting your finger on the graph and moving it up or down. The app will remember where you left the intensity until you change it again. I chose to leave mine as it was throughout the workout.
The trainer tells you how much time is left and gives you a countdown at the end of the interval. One of my complaints is she does not immediately tell you how to change your setting after this countdown. If you’re huffing and puffing, waiting for a difficult interval to end, you get to wait a little longer or just lower the settings yourself until she tells you the speed and incline of your next interval. Throughout the workout, you will also get tips on technique and encouragement. I found it nice to be reminded to use my arms and suck in my tummy while walking.
The first workout for me progressed like rolling hills on the graph. The fastest I went was 4.1 mph for 30 seconds. The greatest incline was 6%. I found the hardest setting to be 3.3 mph at 6% incline which lasted for 2 minutes. I was able to get through the entire workout without any issues and broke a decent sweat. All workouts end with a nice cool-down and then Brittany will tell you how great you did and encourages you to come back again.
My first walk was a success! I did not feel like I ever went too fast or too slow. I was challenged yet confident I could complete the hard parts. I would suggest not paying attention to the stats that tell you calories burned (too many) and distance (too far). I choose not to share my workouts on social media sites, but that option is available.
Because I choose to walk during Brittany’s talking before and after the workout, my time is a little longer than the nearly 47 minutes the workout actually ran. I went a total of 49 minutes and 2.45 miles. My treadmill told me I burned 294 calories, but I don’t really believe that number either.
As to the weight loss effectiveness of this program alone, I will not be able to comment. I walk my dog every day and often jump on my treadmill for quick 5-minute walks. At least, I am now doing those things in my re-inspired effort to not be fat. I do intend to use this program faithfully at least three days a week, and that should contribute to any weight loss efforts I do make, so I will still share my progress in that area.