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FitnessClass packs a personal trainer into your iPad

Harden those abs! Tone those arms! Kickbox that, um, air! This iPad app lets you choose from over 200 professional workout videos. It's a winner.

FitnessClass offers over 200 workout videos from renowned instructors.
FitnessClass offers over 200 workout videos from renowned instructors.
Screenshot by Rick Broida

If you're like most folks, your New Year's resolutions included something like "lose weight" or "get in shape." Easier said than done, right?

Try FitnessClass, a new iPad app that serves up more than 200 workout videos. No trips to the gym, no fitting your workouts to someone else's schedule--just on-demand professional classes for just about any kind of workout you want: fat burning, core strengthening, arm toning, and so on.

In fact, you can search for classes based on your goal (weight loss, strength, etc.), the time you have available (from 10 minutes to a little over an hour), and even equipment (dumbbells, Swiss ball, etc.).

One thing you can't do is sort classes by difficulty. Beginners might find themselves a bit intimidated, as the majority of classes are rated at "medium" difficulty or higher. I found very few rated "Easy."

That said, the few I sampled were excellent, and a nice change from the 45 minutes I usually spend on my elliptical. (As a guy, I despise doing aerobics and the like in front of other people, but I have no problem jumping around like an idiot in the privacy of my own home.)

The FitnessClass app is free, and comes with seven free classes to get you started. Additional videos cost between 99 cents and $4.99 apiece--but that's only for a 30-day rental. Purchase prices are quite a bit higher, ranging anywhere from $3.99 to $14.99. (For now, purchased classes--like rented ones--must be streamed, but a download option is in the works.) Thankfully, you can preview any class before buying or renting it.

My inner cheapskate says these prices are too high, and that the developers should offer some kind of all-you-can-eat (bad choice of words) package like Netflix and Hulu. I'd rather pay $5-$10 monthly for unlimited access to all the classes.

On the other hand, since you'll probably just be working with one or two classes at a time, FitnessClass won't break the bank--and it's definitely cheaper than a personal trainer. This is a well-designed, genuinely useful app, one I highly recommend trying.