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I asked ChatGPT to build me a workout plan for a bigger butt

ChatGPT can do a lot. It can create playlists, help with house hunting, interpret and analyze data, assist with writing and editing, encode, and even play games. It can be your personal trainer too(opens in a new tab) and dietician?

I asked the OpenAI chatbot to train me. For a full month, I followed his dietary restrictions and training regimen, asked him questions along the way, and discovered the chatbot’s biggest shortcomings and most impressive abilities when it comes to fitness.

How I used ChatGPT as a personal trainer

I sent my request to the free version of ChatGPT: a detailed plan of daily exercise and diet that lasted for four weeks. I’ve given the chatbot my weight, height, geographic information, current fitness levels, any medical conditions or injuries needed, and what type of access to exercise equipment I have (a gym membership at Blink, a running space outdoors and boutique fitness classes near me). I told him my main fitness goal wasn’t losing weight but building a firmer butt. As I describe it to my friends: I want NASA to mistake my ass for a new landmass when looking at Earth from space.

“Sure, I can help you create a 4-week fitness plan to help you reach your goal of getting a bigger, firmer butt,” ChatGPT told me. “However, keep in mind that everyone’s body is different, and results can vary based on various factors such as genetics, diet, and consistency.”

He sent me the first two weeks of the plan and then stopped generating any more information, so I had to ask him to send me the next two weeks. The exercise plan we landed on went from gym workouts, rest days, light cardio and outdoor runs. Here is an example of a typical week:

Monday:

Warm up: 5-10 minutes of jogging or jumping jacks

Weighted Squats: 3 sets of 10 reps

Walking Lunges: 3 sets of 10 reps on each leg

Leg Press: 3 sets of 10 repetitions

Romanian deadlifts: 3 sets of 10 reps

Glute Bridges: 3 sets of 10 reps

Cool down: 5-10 minutes of stretching

Tuesday:

Rest day or light cardio

Wednesday:

Warm up: 5-10 minutes of jogging or jumping jacks

Bulgari Split Squat: 3 sets of 10 reps on each leg

Cable Kickbacks: 3 sets of 10 reps on each leg

Barbell Hip Thrusts: 3 sets of 10 reps

Dumbbell step-ups: 3 sets of 10 reps on each leg

Leg Extensions: 3 sets of 10 reps

Cool down: 5-10 minutes of stretching

Thursday:

Rest day or light cardio

Friday:

Warm up: 5-10 minutes of jogging or jumping jacks

Smith Machine Squats: 3 sets of 10 reps

Side Lunges: 3 sets of 10 reps on each leg

Sumo Deadlifts: 3 sets of 10 reps

Cable Pull-through: 3 sets of 10 reps

Donkey Kicks: 3 sets of 10 reps on each leg

Cool down: 5-10 minutes of stretching

Saturday:

Rest day or light cardio

Sunday:

Run outside: 30-45 minutes at a moderate pace

She told me to eat about 2,000-2,200 calories a day and consume 165 grams of protein a day. That’s a lot more protein than I usually eat: about 120 grams more per day. I’ve been a vegetarian for many years, but recently started eating meat to meet my protein goals (you can definitely hit your protein goals without meat, I just struggle). When I asked ChatGPT for recommendations, he would give the typical recommendation: Chicken, Turkey, Beef, Fish, Eggs, Greek Yogurt, Cottage Cheese, Protein Powder. All of these are helpful ideas, but they really haven’t made reaching my protein goals any easier.

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Everything ChatGPT told me came with some kind of ass-saving caveat. When she gave me a routine, she added at the end that specific exercise and diet needs will vary and that, ideally, you could consult a registered dietitian and personal trainer.

So I reached out to Crystal Zabka Belsky, a registered medical dietitian and nutritionist, who coached me on the pros and cons I was likely to see during my experiment. I asked her how the ChatGPT diet was so far from my typical diet and she recommended I use a food delivery service, like the one she happens to work for: Clean Eatz. And, to be fair, the Clean Eatz food was pretty good, and having the meals prepared at my house definitely helped with the calorie and protein counts needed to meet ChatGPT guidelines.

I asked ChatGPT about the best way to measure success in this experiment and he told me to take pictures of progress, body measurements, evaluate my strength and endurance gains, evaluate how my clothes fit, and use a percentage calculator. body fat.

“Remember that progress can be slow and may not always be visible on the scale,” the chatbot told me. “It’s important to celebrate the small victories along the way and focus on overall health and wellness rather than just looks.”

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The results: I lost a couple of pounds, gained an inch in my buttocks, and lost an inch in my waist. Well enough, although I only did the plan for four weeks, which isn’t enough to see the long-term goals reflected. However, the physical results don’t matter as much to me as the process. For this experiment, I focused on other findings: Was ChatGPT a useful tool? Did it help me more than just a Google search? Did he provide the kind of assistance I really need from a personal trainer?

Why I liked using ChatGPT as a personal trainer

First of all, it’s free, affordable as hell, and always accessible. Most personal trainers and dietitians can’t answer a question from a client at two in the morning, but ChatGPT can. And it’s travel-friendly: If you leave the country or state, as I did for a few days, you can take ChatGPT with you.

Belsky, the dietitian I spoke with for this piece, said it “offers a sense of accountability and access to highly motivated individuals.” I wouldn’t describe myself as “highly motivated” which may be why I didn’t find any kind of accountability from the chatbot, but if you use ChatGPT as a free fitness resource or if you follow any kind of plan you find online, then some willpower is involved.

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ChatGPT also has a pretty large knowledge base, so I felt comfortable, whether I should or not, following her advice.

Because I will no longer use ChatGPT as a personal trainer

My main gripe is that while it has far more insight into my health than, say, Google, its feedback is still too vague. For example, I had a cold during the training program and asked if I should take time away from the training program or change my diet. It said it’s “generally recommended” to rest and avoid exercise while I’m sick, which is helpful, but I would have preferred something more specific that I could get from a real personal trainer. Tell me how many days I should rest, or if I should stop doing cardio but continue lifting weights, or if I should adjust my diet to prioritize veggies. Instead, I received a generic response that was on par with what Google tells you.

There wasn’t even a ChatGPT app at the time, which meant that while I was at the gym I had to use the browser to ask questions. This is not a deal breaker but, my goodness, it was annoying.

ChatGPT is a fully text-based AI model, so it can’t send any images – an unfortunate problem considering I needed to know detailed information about the type of form I should have in training. Usually, I watched a YouTube video to check my shape. For example, the chatbot gave me different types of deadlifts to do throughout the week but honestly, I don’t know the difference between any of them. He described the differences to me when I asked him, but I could never be sure. That kind of feedback on the form in person, in the moment, really helps. Also, I’ve been on and off for years, so I know how much weight to use, but I could see that it’s a tough decision for some people to make, and ChatGPT was almost no help when I tried to figure it out.

Finally, it was a big challenge for me to meet the protein goals set by ChatGPT. And Belsky told me that since ChatGPT doesn’t recommend what time of day you should consume protein, it won’t be as effective as it could be.

“He doesn’t tell you [how] you should be dosing protein every so many hours throughout the day to maximize protein synthesis,” Belsky said.

ChatGPT is useful and free if you’re looking for a starting point, but it lacks the detailed customization needed to achieve very specific goals. Overall, the cons far outweigh the pros for me. So no, ChatGPT cannot be your personal trainer.


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