By Jeremy Berger
on 2.4.13
Photo by Obstacles XRT

The health and fitness category of mobile apps is bursting at the seams with tech that turns your smartphone into a personal coach. Many of the most successful apps rely on a variety of incentives to move exercise out of the realm of personal achievement and into a space of competition (Fitocracy), social or financial obligation (Lift), even fear of animated corpses (Zombies, Run!). We’re pumped about a lot of these, especially the more hardcore fitness geek apps like Strava for running and cycling.

Obstacles XRT ($2) (XRT stands for extreme reality training) isn’t particularly exciting from an innovation standpoint, and it won’t have Quantified Selfers jizzing in their Under Armour. What it does provide is a genuinely useful tool for motivated exercisers — from beginners through yoked bros like the guy in the instructional videos — to do unique high intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts from the comfort of their home or, more importantly, in the office common room, wearing a tank top.

Users enter some basic vitals to track approximate calorie burn and then embark on one of many obstacle courses with names like Kilburn Proving Grounds, Jackson Hole and Milford Construction Zone, which if you’re like this author and grew up in a town called Milford, brings back eerily similar childhood memories. On these courses you’ll do plyometric-based cardio exercises that you know and learn some new ones in the process. The net-net? A great fitness app (for iOS only, unfortunately), or a man’s version of Carmen Electra’s Aerobic Striptease Collection.

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