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If you want to get in shape but don’t have the time or motivation to schlep to the gym, a new website called FitLab may be able to help.
FitLab was created by Los Angeles startup Digital Lifestyle Solutions. President Conor Lumpkin told me that the problem with existing fitness websites is that they’re not personalized — users can look up an exercise how-to, but it’s not customized to their needs. Even users of the popular Wii Fit game (which offers exercises through Nintendo’s Wii game console), just choose a workout, rather than following a training regimen that’s designed for them.
Lumpkin said FitLab, on the other hand, works like a Match.com or a Pandora for exercise. In other words, it creates a routine based on the information you provide, then adapts to your needs and preferences. When you first log on to the site, you fill out a questionnaire with your weight, body type, available equipment, exercise frequency, fitness goals, and more. Then whenever you’re supposed to work out, you visit the site to see a training video from virtual personal trainer Max, who also exercises along with you onscreen.
You can further customize the experience for each workout session, for example by saying that you only have 20 rather than 30 minutes to exercise, or that you want to focus on a specific type of workout on a specific day. FitLab said it has more than 1 million workout programs designed by Linda Shelton, former director of fitness for Weider and Shape magazine, and a member of the Fitness Hall of Fame.
You can access FitLab outside your computer, too. There’s an iPhone app, and Lumpkin said there are plans to expand to other devices — for example it’s considering TV application platforms like the upcoming Google TV. Some early testers already connect their laptop to their TV for their workouts, he noted.
The company plans to make money through a combination of subscriptions, advertising, and offering a “white label” version that businesses that customize to their own needs. Consumers will be able to access a generic exercise of the day for free, but if they want personalized workouts and tracking, they’ll need to pay a $9.95 monthly fee (after a free trial period).
Digital Lifestyle Solutions has raised an undisclosed amount of seed funding. It was incubated by the Founder Institute. The company will compete with not only games for the Wii, but also games for Microsoft’s Kinect and Sony’s Move motion-sensing systems.
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