While there are lots of fitness apps that track miles run and every exercise you could possibly do at the gym, they can be a turn-off to beginners, those who prefer fitness classes, or the less tech-driven. Launched yesterday, a new, free fitness app named Cody hopes to tackle the issue of fitness accountability by allowing users to share all kinds of activities with friends — whether it’s hitting the gym, CrossFit, or even yoga — without getting too bogged down in the details.

What It Does

If you’re familiar with social networks, then it's likely you won’t be daunted by Cody’s recording system. Once you’ve sweat to the workout of your choice, you can log into Cody and tap the “Add Workout” button, which enables users to document activities by time and then leave a little comment about the workout that day. Users can see friends’ workouts streaming throughout the day, and can cheer on each other via the app.

“People have updates on fitness all the time,” says Cody co-founder Pejman Pour-Moezzi. “If you’re active and working out two, three times a week or more, then it’s the kind of thing you want to be updated on.”

But that’s only one half of the equation, as Cody gives helpful tips and even introduces workout plans based on the different activities logged in the system. The whole Cody system is very friendly to those just beginning their fitness-recording journey, since it can feel overwhelming to log in and note every single exercise while at the gym or in a class. Instead, users can just log into Cody, share with friends what kind of exercise they did (“Hit the gym!” or “Swam 20 laps!”), and get feedback from the personal training session for even better performance.

“It’s a balance — each time you log in your exercises, we want to make sure we have another week of recommendations and workouts behind that activity,” Pour-Moezzi says.

Users can go back through their own workout lists, see what programs they tried, or even check out their attendance rate on a little calendar. In a lot of ways, the app feels like a “check-in” program which builds on that idea of accountability for everyone without getting in deep on the details.

The other major part of the app is Cody itself, the name of the helpful little robot that acts as a guide to help users get the most out of their overall fitness regimen. The first thing Cody assesses is your overall goal, whether it’s losing weight or becoming stronger. Then, the program populates helpful articles and workout plans to help make those goals a reality — including diet tips and get-fit playlists. After workouts, Cody cheers you on while tailoring the goals to fit your workout style. Pour-Moezzi says that the company is still experimenting with how to make Cody even more interactive and like a personal trainer.

Why It Matters

While tapping into the social graph has proven to be a boon for activities like running and cycling, it's all too easy to get bogged down in the data. Cody manages to incorporate all exercises and get everyone in on the action, but does so in a clean and simple way that won’t intimidate those who are new to accountability. It’s a fitness diary that’s easy to maintain and simple enough to build good habits.

The Cody feature is also a plus and can even produce full workout schedules that cater to an individual’s exercise preferences, gender, and athletic abilities. Like all accountability apps, Cody becomes richer and more nuanced with every new piece of information that’s put into it, so it obviously benefits those who use it the most.

One thing that’s missing from the overall app experience, however, is any sense of premium content or rewards. It’s clear this is an early iteration of the app, but at this point, Cody probably won’t convert veteran trackers or others looking to get extra goodies for their hours at the gym.

If you’re looking for a sophisticated amount of granular data or hardcore fitness challenges, you’re better off going with another app. Still, Cody is a promising tool with a lot of great features, and it has the potential to step out as one of most well-rounded fitness accountability apps in the market today.

Check out Cody for free in the iTunes App Store.

What fitness tracking apps do you use? Let us know in the comments below or continue the conversation on Twitter!

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