Competitive nature + gamifying fitness = Captain Lazyass gets off the couch

Last week xkcd posted this comic:

Which made me laugh. A lot of fitness tracking websites (I use Daily Burn and Runkeeper) miss out on some of life’s best activities. I probably would have had a chuckle and left it at that… but it was the mouse-over text that caught my attention. It was:

“I felt so clever when I found a way to game the Fitocracy system by incorporating a set of easy but high-scoring activities into my regular schedule. Took me a bit to realize I’d been tricked into setting up a daily exercise routine.” 

“I’d been tricked into setting up a daily exercise routine.” That interested me. So I rocked over to Fitocracy to check it out.

Fitocracy (www.fitocracy.com) is still in beta and you need an invite code to check it out. Fortunately, they were excepting “xkcd” as an invite code the day I wanted to try it (I don’t know if they still are).

It is exactly the kind of thing I like. You get to level up when you are active and there are unlockable achievements. There is a lovely sense of humour underlying the site. For example, the quest to run a mile in under 10 minutes is called “Someone is chasing me!” There is an over abundance of zombie references. I joined a group called “Getting Fit for the Zombie Apocalypse”. Not even kidding.

It seems to be pretty nerdcentric, but that also suits my temperament. I need something to motivate me to get away from my computer and out into the wild. And if I find that motivation on a website that will give me “points” for doing so… well, I have no business commenting on the other nerds rocking the site.

There is only three things missing from the site right now that would make it better. The first is a mobile site and/or iPhone/Android app. Apparently the mobile site is in the works, which would be rad. The second thing is that it doesn’t (yet) connect with my Withings scale. All things should connect to my Withings. But that too is apparently in the plan.

The final thing I’m missing is people I know who’s asses I would like to kick. I’ve joined a few groups (such as the aforementioned zombie training group) on the site, but being better than a handful of strangers is not nearly as much fun as kicking the asses of people I know.

I have ten invites (apparently) that I can give away. If any of you would like to give Fitocracy a try, let me know. I’ll send you an invite and start following your ass. And then I’ll start kicking it.

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