Health & Fitness | July 18, 2017 9:00 am

The Perfect 15-Minute Workout, According to AI

Machine learning does a body good

Too tired. Not enough time. Don’t know what you’re doing.

What if we took every excuse away for not working out?

Well, for one, you’d be pissed. But then you’d shape up.

With that in mind, we asked the team behind AI-driven workout app Freeletics (17 million users and growing) if their algorithms could design us the perfect pre-work exercise plan.

At just 15 minutes and five exercises long, it’s safe to say they nailed it.

A bit of background: already the number-one fitness app in Europe (and third most popular in the U.S.), Freeletics is a virtual coaching app that offers individualized high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts, nutrition guides and gym/running routines, all assisted by AI and machine learning.

The keys here are personalization (workouts are specifically based off your goals and progress), making the programs quick and adaptable to any environment (sans equipment), and adding an accompanying diet plan. All this for about $2.50-$4 per week.

Below, the ideal pre-work routine (which the app can adjust and optimize to meet your needs).

Freeletics (5 images)

10 Pushups

For an additional challenge, the pushups can be replaced by diamond pushups or even archer pushups, which are a lower progression towards the one-handed pushup.

12 Lunges

10 Plank Switches

8 Cossack Squats

If the cossack squats are too much, they can be replaced by the side lunge, which looks slightly similar, but has a reduced range of motion.

12 Toe-Touch-Crunches

One more option to crank it up is to replace the toe-touch-crunch (which is basically half a jackknife) with six slow, controlled jackknives.

Then rest for 60 seconds and repeat the entire cycle four more times, doing all five rounds at a “steady” pace: i.e., the exerciser shouldn’t move at a speed where they’ll be worn out by third, fourth or fifth cycle. And don’t worry about time.

Freeletics recently updated their HIIT workouts to deemphasize speed. As their site notes: “The new system … does not record the time taken to train. Interval workouts should instead be performed at a specific pace set by the Coach itself: slow, moderate, fast or maximum. The pace is chosen to best achieve the desired training effect.”

Also, Freeletics CEO Daniel Sobhani gives us this advice for working out during the summer: “Adjust your daily schedule if necessary so that you are not working out during the prime heat of the day, which means before 9:00am and after 6:00pm. And shorten your workouts. A 20-minute workout can be just as effective as hourlong training sessions.”

The recipe: Turkey breast peach sandwiches

We love this combination of sweet, sour and hearty — but see for yourself.

Calories 485
Protein: 24g
Carbohydrate: 87g
Fat: 3g

Preparation Time: 5 min

4 slices whole-grain bread
60 g turkey breast cold cuts
1 peach
20 g alfalfa sprouts

1. Toast or roast bread to your liking. Quarter peach.
2. Cover bread slices with turkey breast slices and peach quarters. Place alfalfa sprouts on top and season with black pepper as needed.