Version Reviewed: 1.0
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People are always looking for some kind of mythical way to get in shape. Some turn to bizarro diets, some turn to workout plans that they stick to for a week, but the ones that work involve simple exercises that become part of your daily life. Push-ups are the core of just about every workout in the history of mankind. Instead of needing expensive gym equipment, all you have to use is your own body weight and gravity, but like Peter Gibbons once famously said, "It's a problem of motivation, all right?"
The fact is that nobody likes doing push-ups. They are the workout equivalent of eating brussel sprouts as a child. They are hard to do at the end, they burn, and they hurt. Fortunately for us iPhone/iPod Touch users, there is an app for that. Push-Ups Dojo, from NEC Biglobe, provides the best push-up experience that I have ever encountered.
To use the app, you put your iDevice in front of you, where your face would land on the ground if you were doing a push-up. Instead of hitting the ground with your nose though, you touch your nose down to the screen and tap it. Because of this necessary tap, Push-Ups Dojo completely ends push-up cheating and also forces you to come down in a controlled manner so you won't break your screen... or your nose. The app comes with four levels, all of which are the same but provide you with objects to break with your nose. For example, the first stage is the karate dojo where you are breaking tiles with your nose. There is a tile in the middle of the screen, and it is up to you to break it.
To keep track of your tile breaking, there is a nice little graph that not only tracks how many total push-ups you do every day, but also how many of each kind. While not an in-game option, I've separated the levels by the type of pushup I do. I break tiles in the dojo with normal pushups, use close grip push-ups to break the bricks in level two, and so on. Having a running tally of push-ups done really keeps you motivated for the next day, because nobody wants to digress.
My one complaint with the game is that it really doesn't have any variety. Much like the standard push-up, Push-Ups Dojo quickly becomes a battle of repetition. If it were my program, I would add some challenges, or even badges to earn for doing special things. If I ever get to where I do 100 pushups in a row, I'd at least want some kind of in-game badge to prove my worthiness. I suppose that self-motivation is the key to all workouts, and it is certainly required for this one.
Fortunately, for what little there is, it is nice and effective. The build quality of the app is obviously top notch, and the sensitivity for nose touching is right on point (just be sure to have a clean nose). Other than a little lack of variety, Push-Ups Dojo really is the perfect workout app. For the same price as the new Burger King double cheeseburger, I'd definitely recommend it. You'll feel better in the morning.