• Fitbod's Algorithm FAQ

    We’ve listed answers to twelve of the most frequently asked questions users have about Fitbod’s algorithm. Some questions sound specific, but replace the exercise and the question could apply to your situation. For example, you might love Pistol Squats (see question 5.) but don’t want to do Burpees. Use the rule we list under Pistol Squats to exclude Burpees, or any other exercise you don’t want to do.

    If you don’t see an answer to your questions somewhere in this article, no sweat! Please contact our team at support@fitbod.me for more information. We’re here, and we’re ready to help. 

    Keep reading for more about how we generate our recommendations and how you can better fit them to your needs.


    1. How do I know when to increase my fitness experience? Will Fitbod notify me?

    Fitbod will not notify you when it's time to update your fitness experience. The gym profile setting "Fitness Experience" will ensure that Fitbod does not recommend exercises out of your comfort zone, too easy, or too difficult. 

    It is important to start with the basics before moving on to more advanced movements. Doing so will help you become more comfortable and confident in the gym while reducing the chance of injury. 

    There is no penalty in the app for switching between fitness experiences. It's not necessarily a difficulty setting. It’s an increase in the variety of possible exercise recommendations. Ultimately, you can decide when you want to change your fitness experience.


    2. Why does Fitbod suggest high weight one week and low weight another week? 

    Fitbod uses a technique called “non-linear periodization resistance,” which means that Fitbod will vary your sets and reps, and Fitbod will usually recommend weights you can lift. Sometimes there will be higher reps and lower weight, while at others there will be lower reps and higher weight. This varies the intensity of the exercises, strengthening the musculoskeletal system and optimizing gains. Periodically, Fitbod’s algorithm will ask you to perform max effort reps, allowing the algorithm to calculate a new estimated strength if your strength has increased.

    Estimated strength for weighted exercises is a metric that tells you the maximum weight Fitbod estimates you can lift in one rep. 

    For bodyweight exercises, it's the highest number of reps Fitbod thinks you can do in one set. With an increase in estimated strength, Fitbod adjusts your sets, reps, and weight recommendations for future workouts.


    3. Why is Fitbod recommending weights that are so low?

    There are a lot of reasons that might be happening. One of the most common is that Fitbod is still trying to figure out your capabilities. When you first start using Fitbod, it will set you up with starting weights. Adjust them to fit your capabilities, and then continue to change them as you keep training.

    If you have taken time off, the algorithm will reduce (decay) the estimated strength to lower the recommendations after you return to the app.

    There's also the possibility that you logged a lower weight in the past. The algorithm uses this to calculate your current estimated strength, which, as a result, is also lower.

    If none of these explanations help, you may be experiencing a bug in the app, and in that case, you should contact our support team at support@fitbod.me


    4. I'm tired of doing banded exercises. Why isn’t Fitbod recommending dumbbells?

    Fitbod might not have recommended any dumbbell exercises because you haven’t selected dumbbells as the equipment you’ve got available in your Gym Profile. Follow these steps to check if that’s the case:

    1. Open Fitbod
    2. Select your "Gym Profile" at the top left.
    3. Choose "Available Equipment."

    If dumbbells are selected in the app and you're still not receiving any dumbbell recommendations, please make sure that they aren’t excluded from your workout program. Follow these steps to check which exercises you might have excluded: 

    1. Open Fitbod.
    2. Select the Log tab in the bottom right corner.
    3. Tap the Settings icon in the top right corner.
    4. Scroll down to Workout Settings.
    5. Select "Manage Exercises."
    6. Search for "Dumbbell."
    7. Deselect "Don't Recommend Again."

    If you don't have any dumbbell exercises excluded and you're still not getting them, you may be experiencing a bug. f you suspect that’s the case, contact our support team at support@fitbod.me.


    5. I've never been able to do more than one Pistol Squat. So, why did Fitbod recommend more than that?

    Pistol Squats are usually recommended to users who have set their Fitness Experience in their Gym Profiles to “Advanced.” If you keep getting recommendations like this, consider changing your fitness experience level. 

    If that’s not the case, you can always exclude exercises you don’t like. Here’s how to do that:

    1. Open Fitbod.
    2. Select the Workout Tab in the bottom left corner.
    3. Tap the ellipsis ("...") next to the exercise you want to modify.
    4. Choose "Recommend More Often," "Recommend Less Often," or "Don't Recommend Again." 


    6.  Why did Fitbod want me to work on my quads and shoulders despite a recovery score of zero for both muscle groups?

    This could be happening for a lot of reasons. The most common is that Fitbod has considered your exercise history and Gym Profile settings and determined that those muscle groups are still the best to target, even if their recovery percentages are low.

    However, it's also possible that you are experiencing a bug. If you suspect that’s the case, contact our support team at support@fitbod.me.


    ***Important: Please, keep in mind that these guidelines only apply to primary muscle groups. Secondary muscle groups are limited to one exercise selection per workout.


    7. My reps and weights are never accurate. I’m an intermediate lifter who wants to gain muscle but my weight recommendations are so low. What is going on?

    There are several possibilities as to why your weight recommendations may be low. Fitbod takes a lot into account when creating them. Your recommendations will change if you’ve modified your sets, reps, or weights. If you’ve taken time off, Fitbod will reduce your Estimated Strength. You might’ve even logged lower weights for a particular exercise before. 

    If none of these explanations help, you might be experiencing a bug. If you suspect that’s the case, contact our support team at support@fitbod.me


    8. Fitbod has suggested sessions that haven’t been as hard as expected. I can override Fitbod’s suggestions but want to follow the program. What can I do?

    You can always adjust Fitbod’s recommended sets, reps, and weights. The algorithm will take those changes into account for future recommendations.

    For example, if you take time off, Fitbod will reduce your Estimated Strength, lowering your strength recommendations. On the other hand, if you exceed Fitbod’s recommendations, it will increase your Estimated Strength.

    If this issue persists consistently and the app has not recalibrated to provide accurate recommendations, you may need to contact our support team as you could be experiencing a bug. You can reach our support team at support@fitbod.me


    9. If I stop using Fitbod for a while, will the app automatically reduce my weight recommendations?

    Yes, Fitbod will! If you take time off, Fitbod will reduce your Estimated Strength, lowering your strength recommendations. If those recommendations feel off, adjust them!


    10. Why is Fitbod recommending certain weights?

    A lot goes into Fitbod’s weight recommendations. One of the most important is your workout history. If you don’t have any past performances of an exercise, Fitbod looks at your performances with related exercises to make an appropriate recommendation. If you have no workout history, Fitbod uses a “warm start.”

    A warm start is a set, rep, and weight scheme that Fitbod derives from over 87 million logged workouts. 

    Using data science, Fitbod will suggest weights based on your fitness goal, fitness level, and body profile (age and gender).


    11. I did 14 reps during my last max effort, and Fitbod gave me 12 reps x 5 at the same weight. What’s going on?

    Fitbod uses non-linear periodization, which means that you won't necessarily increase the number of reps and/or weight every time you perform an exercise.

    You should perform exercises at different intensity levels—including variations of sets, reps, and weights each time. Theoretically, your Estimated Strength will increase over time. On max effort days, expect to push yourself until failure. You will not have to train to failure on non-max effort days.


    12. How many “workouts" should I do in a day?

    On training days, you should complete one workout per day. Fitbod does allow you to log more than one workout per day. So, you have the flexibility to log as many as you want.

    Here's some more insight on how many days per week to work out: Create your own workout program 


  • How can I use Fitbod as a beginner?

    Make sure you complete the onboarding process which starts the first time you open Fitbod. This process asks you a few questions about yourself and your goals. If you skipped through the onboard process, you can set your Fitness Experience level to beginner in Your Gym profile (top center of the Workout screen). This setting will reduce workout difficulty, recommend more commonly known exercises, and adjust the total workout duration.

    Next, the Sets, Reps, and Weight schemes will be adjusted to fit your level. If you can’t perform the given number of Sets and Reps, feel free to lower these until you’re able to perform effectively and with proper form.

    Tapping “Instructions” will open a list of step-by-step instructions, a video demonstration, and an image of targeted muscle groups.

    If you'd like some additional guidance, we urge our beginner fitness users to join our Facebook Community, as it is a great place to ask questions and share ideas! For more personal or direct questions, please feel free to email us at support@fitbod.me

  • Do I have to follow Fitbod's recommended workouts?

    Nope, Fitbod is all about customization to what you want to do. If you would rather create your own workout from scratch, you can do that too by using our exercise list that includes over 400 exercises. Simply log your exercises, monitor your muscle recovery state, view your exercise history, and enjoy the peace of mind that your exercise history is safely stored.

    Below are some customizable workout features you can do while using Fitbod:

    • Edit reps, sets, and weight for any exercise
    • Replace an exercise with a different exercise for the same muscle group
    • Delete any exercise
    • Edit target muscle groups
    • Turn two or more exercises into a superset or circuit
    • Create your own workout from scratch using our exercise library
    • Save created workouts for later use

    For additional information and instructions about these editing features, please visit the article Editing Workout.

  • If I can’t finish the recommended set, rep, and weight combo, should I adjust the weight or the reps?


    The app converts all sets, reps, and weight schemes into an Estimated Strength (more info on Estimated Strength) number. So doing less reps or less weight will lower this number regardless of which one you reduce. The app will see you did less than recommended and will recommend slightly less next time. The opposite is true if you do more than recommended. If you are unable to complete the recommended sets, the app will see this and next time lower the prediction by a little bit.

  • Should I be going to failure when doing the exercises in my workout?

    As a beginner, your goal shouldn't be performing your exercises to failure. More experienced lifters do perform exercises to failure as their final set but as a beginner, your body needs to adjust to this type of strain. That being said, your main goal should be completing the workout feeling challenged but not too overworked.

    During your workout, if you feel like you can do more, please consider some of the following:

    • Add an additional exercise that targets the same muscle group
    • Add an additional set to an existing exercise
    • Increase the number of reps in an existing exercise
    • Increase the amount of weight

    When making any of these adjustments to your workout, please keep in mind that your exercises should be challenging but DOABLE (especially during the final few reps of a set) with good form!