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It’s not every day that I’m introduced to a new web service by the awesome xkcd web-comic. So when they featured Fitocracy a while back, my curiosity was indeed piqued. Fitocracy is a website that turns exercise into a social game by having you track your workouts and then giving you various achievements for your track record. It’s free, but it’s invite-only at this point.

Luckily for you guys, I’ve scored us some invite codes, which are hidden away further on down the post. So let’s check out this Fitocracy thing, starting with their own product tour!


Since Fitocracy is social, you get the oh-so familiar “news stream”, as seen on Twitter, Facebook, and just about any other social platform. Only here, the news stream is all about fitness, and includes plenty of strangers discussing fitness.


Yes, the news stream is full of people you don’t know, but Fitocracy wants you to follow some of them, just to get the hang of things. Okay, I think I’ll follow wats8976 above.


Next, Fitocracy points out my personal scoreboard:


And now I get to post my very first status update, telling the world what I’m up to. As could be expected, the concept of circles or groups is built into Fitocracy, so you can select who will get your update right when you post it:


Next, the tour switches you over to your Profile tag, and shows your own activity (of which there is none, at the moment):


And there’s also a stats view, full of zeroes at the moment:


When you start your way in Fitocracy, you’ll first be a member of the New Fitocracy Member group. You apparently need to get all the way to level 7 before you get to leave that group:


Since Fitocracy is built to let strangers meet each other, you get to “tag” yourself with physical activities you like:


Yes, I like walking for fitness. Next, the tour takes you to the Track page, where you can start logging your physical activity.


Similar to RunKeeper How To Use RunKeeper To Set Exercise Goals on iPhone How To Use RunKeeper To Set Exercise Goals on iPhone Read More , Fitocracy also has some suggestions showing you what you can do, in case you don’t have any ideas:


The bar to the left contains tabs both individual exercises and complete routines. The “Routines” tab is empty at first, but the Exercises one is chock-full of exercises, and has a great live-search feature:


Each exercise comes with a complete description text description showing how to do it:


Now, let’s log my short bike ride to work.


Once you log your workout, you get a very satisfying “coach clipboard” showing how many points you’ve earned:


I assure you, this really is very satisfying.

Now, about those routines. Routines are a bunch of exercises which you usually do together. Think of them like recipes in a food-log application: Rather than log each individual ingredient in your favorite meal every time you have it, you just enter the recipe once and then log the whole meal.


To keep things interesting, you can start on a “quest”. A quest is a cute name for a fitness challenge. Here are some of the ones which are available when you’re just starting out:


You don’t exactly “enroll” on a quest. You just keep logging your activities, and as you do great feats, you will be awarded with quest completions:


But Does It Work?

In the xkcd comic’s alt text, Randall (xkcd’s creator) says:

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.

That’s a lovely way to put it. I couldn’t say if Fitocracy “works” because it’s obviously a very personal thing. Not everyone will stick to an exercise routine, no matter how social you make things.  Also, Fitocracy isn’t the only game in town. There are lots of other sites that try to get you into shape 8 Websites That Help Couch Potatoes Take Up Running For Fitness & Fun 8 Websites That Help Couch Potatoes Take Up Running For Fitness & Fun Read More . But I can definitely see how Fitocracy can become a habit.

Oh, and about those invites I promised?  Here they are! Enjoy!  But remember to come back and tell us what you think of the site.

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  1. Shazbah
    October 30, 2011 at 8:52 am

    I just found this and it says the codes are all used up! Do you have anymore?

    • Tina
      November 2, 2011 at 11:25 pm

      Sorry Shazbah, looks like you're out of luck!

  2. Patrick Danforth
    October 1, 2011 at 1:50 am

    I clicked HERE for an invite but no invite code pops up...are they all gone? :)

  3. Carolyn Fitzpatrick
    October 1, 2011 at 12:20 am

    I tried it. Not really a fan. It seems well designed for people who go to a gym regularly and know what they're doing. But most of the exercises and virtually all of the quests seems to be geared toward someone with access to a gym. There are some exercises listed in the "body weight" category, such as push-ups, etc. But it is hard to tell from the names exactly which exercise is which. There isn't any place that demos the exercises so I couldn't tell if I was actually doing the exercise they were talking about.

    • Woofbucket
      October 1, 2011 at 12:33 am

      I've not been to a gym in years. I sniped a fitocracy invite on the tenth of September, and have gained ten levels doing pretty much nothing but body weight exercises and the occasional treadmill run here at home. It isn't something that is designed to tell you what to do, it is just a classic MMO "Here's a world, go explore it, and if you accidentally find something neat and shiny along the way, then you're doing a good job." Make your own fun from it, and it's a right blast!

      • Erez Zukerman
        October 3, 2011 at 8:18 pm

        Wow, that's an amazing success story!

        Do you feel a difference in your general well-being? I mean, do you really feel more fit or energetic?

        How often do you do body weight exercises?

    • Soni Pitts
      October 1, 2011 at 1:16 am

      There's an entire sub-game in Fitocracy revolving around helping each other figure out how to best log non-standard exercises, or to find the "correct" name for the ones you're doing. :-D

    • Erez Zukerman
      October 3, 2011 at 8:17 pm

      I agree with you on the demos. I really wish they had some videos showing how the exercises are done exactly... That's one of the key things keeping me from taking the gym seriously -- I can never be totally sure I'm doing it right, and not actually injuring myself somehow.