Keelo App Review
For fitness fans seeking an app with both barbell-oriented strength training as well as diverse conditioning strategies, Keelo might well be worth the pick. Created by Throwdown Labs in 2014, Keelo workouts are designed and demonstrated by certified CrossFit trainers and coaches. Utilizing proprietary artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms, the app focuses on high-intensity, total body, functional fitness programming.
With a library supplying more than 150 static workouts, the real value to the program is the AI. Total body programming here means improving strength, cardio conditioning, overall metabolism, and the Central Nervous System, or the brain-to-body connection. This is welcome news to barbell fans who’ve had a hard time finding apps for squat or bench press routines. For every workout recommendation generated for the individual user, Keelo looks at a number of factors: Compound muscle groups previously worked; specific movements previously performed; how long since last workouts; and time length. In terms of functional fitness, compound movements emphasize real world athleticism, and include pushing, pulling, pressing, squatting, core, and metabolic rate.
Keelo is free to download on either on iOS or Android systems, but to unlock all of the coaching features and full workout libraries an upgrade to the premium subscription is required. At $12.99 per month, Keelo is very competitive with other apps on the market. Why we like it is that it brings solid strength training by way of traditional barbell movements, as well as conditioning drills with, or without, equipment. Not many apps offer specific poundage and repetition recommendations for barbell movements.
What You Need To Know
- Offers both strength and conditioning programs, with warm-up and cool-down, programmed specifically for the user as opposed to the day.
- Features specific weight recommendations for strength training, as well as heart rate monitoring for conditioning.
- Tracks strength ratios, calories burned, as well as nutrition macros.
- In-depth coaching videos and instruction is led by certified trainers.
- Keelo does not offer its own music, but syncs with either Apple Music or Spotify Premium, meaning a separate account is required.
Getting Started — What Equipment Do You Need?
Like most fitness app communities, Keelo seeks diversity in participants. That said, going into it one should know this app specializes in combining both strength and conditioning, meaning barbells and dumbbells will be needed to fully utilize its features. There are a number of the met-con (metabolism conditioning) style workouts where rowers and air bikes are used. Keep in mind, this is a very CrossFit-friendly app, so anything one might find used in that sport might be involved here as well. That would include sandbags, medicine balls, rings, and jump ropes, among other fitness toys. This is a very gym-friendly app, but one can always use it at home or a hotel gym. If that’s the case, a floor mat would be helpful, as well as other tools.
In all fairness, having used this app ourselves, it wouldn’t be worth the purchase if access to equipment were nil. If someone is looking for a jogging or bicycling app, this is not it. Of the workouts contained within the library, there are a few where combinations of bodyweight drills are used without equipment, but the overwhelming majority of both the strength and conditioning programs require equipment. The good news is, whether one is into Olympic lifting, powerlifting, bodybuilding, CrossFit, or just hard core boot camp workouts, the functional fitness crowd already knows this going into the download.
Keelo is downloadable on both iOS and Android devices. That said, it does appear to be incredibly Apple-friendly, and whether that’s by design or just happens to be the way it’s evolved, is anyone’s guess. The app and its heart rate tracker are designed to sync with the Apple Watch, but can also be utilized on tablets, phones, and screens. Instructional videos are easy to watch on any device and most are also on YouTube. The app syncs with social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. In addition to sharing workouts and progress pics amid the leaderboard, the community can also earn Keelo Rewards toward Keelo gear in their store, participate in regular contests, and compete for Amazon Gift Cards. Clearly one needs to be online and have suitable Internet access to participate.
What Equipment It Pairs With
The Keelo app brings high-intensity, total body, functional fitness workouts tailored to the user, and as such, it’s clearly designed with gym-goers in mind. That said, garage gyms and other home fitness fans can easily participate. Typical workouts last between 7 and 20 minutes, and each offers a detailed preview describing what kind of equipment is needed. Conditioning workouts do include rowing and air biking, but most offer alternatives. In the “Escalation” workout, the app offers that if one can’t row, the exercise equivalencies would include: Running 200 meters, Rowing 250 meters, Rowing for Calories 18, Airbike for Calories 10, or skipping rope for Calories 90.
No additional equipment would be required if one is using a commercial gym, but if a garage gym might need an upgrade, it would probably be with a rower and/or bike. We would recommend getting a solid machine that is compatible with streaming workouts and isn’t locked into one program. Since the Keelo workouts will have the user jumping on and off the rower to multiple stations, it isn’t mission critical that the rower syncs with Keelo, but it sure would be nice. The same would be true of bikes.
The Concept2 Model D Rower for instance is priced right and is able to work with other apps as well, meaning users aren’t locked into buying it just for Keelo workouts. Not a tech-focused rower, it’s great for multiple purposes, and with air-resistance, users won’t outgrow it. Meanwhile, the Assault AirBike gets rave reviews for both price and performance. A preferred exercise bike for the U.S. military, this machine has its own workout programming as well, so again, it’s not a one-trick-pony. For those looking to escape the commercial gym experience by way of apps such as Keelo, consider that entire garage gym packages are available, or one can simply pick up an extra pair of dumbbells for the home.
What to Expect From a Keelo Workout?
The Keelo app is designed for tech-savvy workout fans seeking functional fitness programming. With a solid AI-based alogrithm, the program combines strength, cardio, and conditioning movements into routines which balance out the body, ensuring one doesn’t neglect the legs in favor chest, for instance. To fully appreciate the depth of the Keelo, one must have some understanding of apps and how they sync with other devices.
In terms of its audience, the Keelo app is certainly geared to gym-friendly fans of weightlifting equipment combined with met-con style workouts. Think CrossFit and High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), kettlebell-swingers, and iron junkies looking for a challenge. Those seeking general health and wellness apps might not be all that impressed, and if one is looking for a long distance running buddy this isn’t for them. Competitive personalities and those enjoy tracking their own stats and trying on new challenges though would love it. Functional fitness is typically defined in terms of growing work capacity, meaning a combination of strength, cardiovascular conditioning, metabolic rate, and flexibility. In other words, overall athleticism.
In our usage of the app, one thing became apparent quickly, and that is depth of feedback. The Keelo user could be anyone from beginner to expert. The routines are complete in that they include not only the warm-up and cool-down, but detailed instructions, online coaching support, pictures and videos to explain the workout itself. The videos are not only in-depth, but include diagrams while the athletes perform the movement. Frankly, a beginner could quickly become an accomplished technician just by reviewing these videos. A complete equipment list and expected time duration is included. Each workout also features a functional map which illustrates whether the workout emphasizes Push, Pull, Aerobic, Squat, Abs, Back, Hips, or other component.
One thing we found unique was that for barbell workouts, the program not only offers guided steps and specific sets/repetitions, but poundage recommendations based on past performance. Heart rate tracking and integrated timers are also part of the developed user’s profile. This user profile is highly personalized and offers strength ratios so as to help folks balance out their weaknesses, be they upper or lower, cardio or flexibility. Calories burned are also tracked and the app features a nutrition and macros component as well.
Like most apps, Keelo has a community of users and workouts can be shared along with progress pics. Members can enter contests to win points, Keelo gear, or $10 Amazon gift cards.
Given the number of apps for runners and bicyclists, we found it refreshing to find an app with not only barbell movements, but a CrossFit-style format that users would recognize from that sport’s Workout of the Day (WOD).
Keelo Workout Types
Keelo workouts are highly personalized and can vary widely. Coaching tips and HD instructional videos are included, along with specific reps, sets, and even suggested resistance levels. Workout videos offer not only athletes performing the specific lift, but diagrams and step-by-step instructions. These videos are more in-depth than simple movement pictures. Library workouts are categorized into Strength and Conditioning, but there is also a grouping of Favorites. The AI program will auto-generate suggestions regularly and members will receive emails with suggestions.
Today’s Workout (Custom)
Offered daily to users based on their individual profile and metrics, these workouts vary widely in terms of class lengths and goals. An example would be the Warm-Up with 8 rounds of 20 kettlebell swings, 4 rounds of Russian twists, and 4 rounds of 20 Goblet Squats. The Strength component would be 5×5 of Back Squats with a recommended poundage schedule. Also included is “Twenties II,” which is three rounds of 20 Air Squats, 20 Hand Release Push-ups, 20 Bodyweight Lunges, and 20 Sit-Ups. Next is a cool-down with lunges and stretches. The entire run through could be anywhere from 30-45 minutes.
Keelo Strength Workout
The Keelo program offers more than 180 ready workouts based around movements, such as the deadlift. These workouts could be anywhere from 7 to 20 minutes, and can be combined with others. A sample deadlift workout might be a 5 sets of 5 reps, with a suggested rest time of one minute between. The key here is the program can offer suggested poundage to be used, as well as instructional videos and a target map showing what goals this achieves. This is particularly helpful for Olympic movements such as the power clean or snatch, which even experienced lifters would benefit from technical assistance and coaching. This data is then logged into the program and will serve as a basis for other future workouts.
Other strength workouts include rope climbing, plate lunges, pistols, ring dips, and front squats. There’s enough variety to suit about anyone interested in creative strength training.
Keelo Conditioning Workout
This is where Keelo gets creative, and it’s apparent they have a CrossFit-style bent. Conditioning workouts range from easy to quite advanced and include expected time duration as well as calories burned. A sample conditioning workout would be the “Spent,” which combines 8 Hang Power Cleans, 10 Front Squats, and 50 Double Unders with a jump rope, for 10 minutes of AMRAP (As Many Rounds As Possible). Recommended poundages and technical videos are part of the program, as well as a workout map which describes the function.
Conditioning workouts can also be equipment-free, such as with the “Bodyweight Core.” Designed to burn 25 calories in 8 minutes, this workout is an 8-minute AMRAP with 8 Flag Push-ups, 16 Mountain Climbers, 8 Jump Squats, and 16 Supermans.
Our Experience With Keelo
Our experience with the app was positive overall. In terms of its technical aspects, it’s certainly high-speed. Keelo has great video quality with certified instructors. The conditioning workouts are quite creative and challenging. The big point to keep in mind is that this is an equipment-heavy app. Folks who don’t have access to gear like medicine balls, dumbbells, and the like, will feel short-changed as the bodyweight-only workouts just aren’t that numerous.
But we didn’t have any problems with the data syncing as it was supposed to, and there were no problematic crashes or pop-ups.
Is Keelo Worth It?
Keelo is free to download, and frankly the free material might be enough for some folks. The premium package with coaching and all the goodies is $12.99 per month, making it very comparable to others on the market. For fans of the CrossFit style of workouts, we’d say yes, the Keelo premium package is certainly worth a try. Not everyone can have a personal trainer generating WODs and coaching technique on the daily, but this app does all that and more. For tech-savvy athletes looking to compete within a social community of users, it’s a solid win.
To that degree we really like that it’s a top flight app for that group. Runners and bicyclists have their own apps, and for those folks, we’d suggest those categories.