Health & Fitness | February 2, 2023 2:28 pm

ChatGPT Is Being Used (Poorly) to Craft Fitness Routines

The AI chatbot can create some rudimentary workout plans that lack variety and contain painful misinformation

Man watching online exercise video on laptop while working out in the living room at home. ChatGPT is being used by some exercise hobbyists to create workout plans.
ChatGPT is crafting workout plans, but a human trainer will go a much better job
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ChatGPT has proven to be a useful tool for realtors (and possibly too useful for students). But the AI-powered chatbot is also helping people on a health level. Per MIT Technology Review, some users of ChatGPT are creating workout plans and utilizing the service as a “proxy personal trainer.”

“ChatGPT answers questions in seconds, saving the need to sift through tons of information,” Rhiannon Williams writes. “You can ask follow-up questions, too, to get a more detailed and personalized answer. Its chatty tone is ideal for dispensing fitness advice, and the information is presented clearly.”

ChatGPT Is a Scarily Convincing AI Chatbot

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Since the OpenAI language model is culling information from the internet, the data it’s sharing related to fitness is going to be hit or miss. Williams tested out ChatGPT by asking it to create a 16-week marathon training plan. The early returns weren’t promising — one suggestion from the author’s prompt included running 19 miles the day before the race. (Interesting note: Even with the same user prompt, the chatbot was coming up with different answers.)

While the marathon plan was a failure, other users of ChatGPT have utilized the tool to craft slightly less ambitious fitness plans. A fitness fanatic named Austin Goodwin was able to quickly learn about progressive overloading in weightlifting and why a calorie deficit was needed for weight loss; he described the tool as “Google or Wikipedia search on steroids—it amplifies that and takes it to the next level.”

Other users were able to craft workable diets and fitness plans, although nobody interviewed suggested that the chatbot was a good replacement for a trainer or nutritionist. And a few TikTok users even created decent workout plans based on ChatGPT suggestions, although the main complaint seemed to be a lack of variance in exercise.

Conclusion? Most users found ChatGPT’s fitness advice entertaining but not serious — and they approached the AI-crafted fitness plans with plenty of healthy skepticism.