NFL great Tony Gonzalez teams with startup to launch fitness app

Tony Gonzalez, one of the greatest NFL players of all time, is going to play one more season of football, but he's already thinking about the future -- and it includes mobile apps.

The Atlanta Falcons tight end and Southern California native has teamed up with startup FitStar to launch an iPad fitness app that tailors workouts to each individual's needs and incorporates social elements to keep the user motivated.


The app, called "FitStar: Tony Gonzalez," features the 10-time All-Pro player as users' personal assistant. FitStar shot footage and recorded hundreds of lines audio of Gonzalez so that each time users work out, they'll have a different experience.

"People want that personal touch," Gonzalez said, adding later that the app "will spit out a workout that is designed around you and will continually evolve with you."

Users tell the app how long they like working out for, what they hope to achieve with their exercise and details about themselves and their bodies to receive a workout that is unique to them.

After finishing each set of reps, users give the app feedback so it can gather data to create the next workout. Users rate how they did on the drill and whether it was too easy, just right or brutal. Depending on how users rated the workout, the app will either make the next workout more challenging or a little easier.

"If you go on vacation, take a couple of weeks off, we don't want to bring you back at the same level because we know you've been sedentary, so we'll bring you back at a lower level to make it easier for you to come back in," said FitStar Founder and chief executive Mike Maser. "We've built some empathy into the app."

FitStar: Tony Gonzalez also comes with a social element to keep users motivated. Users can add friends who use the app from social networks, including Facebook, and comment on each others' workouts. Users can also share how they did on their workouts with friends and with followers on Twitter.

The app is free to download, but after the first workout, users have to choose a workout plan. One option is free and lets users work out twice a week for four weeks, but the other plans cost money. Each plan is designed to meet a specific goal, such as getting stronger, and they all vary in length, number of workouts per week, and workout duration. The plans range from $2.99 to $7.99, with the priciest plan lasting 12 weeks.

Gonzalez, who has previously written a workout book, said he has always enjoyed helping others get in shape. He said he decided to join FitStar because he liked the idea of helping others get healthier, regardless of whether they are beginners or at the level that he's at.

"I'm going to this when I'm done playing," Gonzalez said. "This stuff kicked my butt."

FitStar, meanwhile, has plans to bring the app to Android later on. The startup also plans to launch more exercise apps that feature other high-profile trainers. For now, though, FitStar is focused on Gonzalez's app.