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ChangingShape is undergoing an update and is still in Beta testing. As this means that some bugs need to be fixed, the site now seems to be completely free to use. All you need to do is sign up, and you can access all areas of the website. All exercise, dietary and other information is currently provided for free. Whilst they don’t offer videos, and some exercise details are lacking, the amount of decent free information is admirable.
The design is simple, split into 4 key sections: diets, workouts, calculators and calendars. Essentially you look through each section, trying out the tools or adding a workout to your calendar, and the rest is up to you.
The diet section is excellent, offering very detailed free plans. You can view the calories and nutritional values of each food, and the plans extend over several days. You can find plans based on your gender and required calorie intake, which can be calculated using one of the site’s many calculators (we’ll come to those shortly). If you’re looking to bulk up, then you can check the high protein diets.
If you want to lose fat, look for lower calorie intakes. They even have diet plans for vegetarians and vegans. Whilst these are all great, we would like to see a few more options here, such as being able to pick favorite foods and recipes, and potentially even a feature which helped to create a shopping list.
The workouts section of the website is split into Routines and Exercises. The routines section is essentially a series of exercises which are sequenced. Many of these routines extend over several days, letting you know which equipment you’ll need and how long it will take, as well as the difficulty of the exercise. This is all very useful, although sadly there’s a lack of videos. Instead you have to look at still images and read a description to get a sense of the exercise in motion. This isn’t ideal, particularly as it means you have to read and then exercise, rather than copy the exercise on a video.
There is a great selection of calculators to use, ranging from calorie counters to protein counters. The calculators help you to identify foods you should be eating, as well as your ideal body mass and more. This is a really useful resource for tracking your progress, which can also be achieved on the site.
The calendars section helps you to plan out your workouts. You can easily click “add to calendar” when you see a regime or exercise you like the look of, and then schedule that workout into your calendar. This is an effective way to make sure you keep things varied and don’t miss your exercises.
There are no community features on ChangingShape.com, which is a real shame. The more support you have, the more chance you have of succeeding. However, we were very pleased to see positive customer feedback when it came to requesting information or help from the site’s team. We would like to see a forum area for members to share their experiences, though, as this sense of camaraderie can really help to spur you on during the tougher times.
Changing Shape Beta is now free, so it can’t be beaten on price. It falls short in some areas, especially due to a lack of videos, but excels when it comes to helping you work out your required nutrition and exercise schedules. We feel that this site would make a great addition to a paid membership elsewhere, offering nutritional support and some extra ideas, whilst utilizing the workout videos you can find on other fitness websites.
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