The past year has been a monotonous blur of jogging, doing my favorite yoga flows, and cycling through the same handful of strength training exercises in my basement gym — so it’s fair to say I miss interactive exercise experiences more than I thought I would. Enter Kemtai: an artificial intelligence-powered fitness app that gives you personal training sessions right at home.
The Kemtai app uses AI to analyze your movements and provide real-time feedback about how to improve your form. It offers a wide range of workouts, from HIIT to Pilates to strength training, and all you have to do is stand in front of your laptop to let the app register your position. You then follow the moment-by-moment instructions to get your sweat on. As you exercise, Kemtai works as a virtual fitness trainer that ensures your form is in tip-top shape — which is key in order to efficiently target the right muscles, build strength, and avoid injury.
Times have clearly been changing in the fitness world: OnePoll’s 2020 survey of 2,000 people found that more than half planned to cancel their gym memberships in favor of home workouts. But you can now have the best of both worlds: Kemtai offers many of the perks of an IRL trainer — like instant feedback and custom workouts — from the comfort of your living room. And it clocks in at just $19/month, making it a more accessible option relative to live personal training sessions that can sometimes cost more than $100 per workout.
Given how stale my home fitness routine has grown after more than a year of solo workouts, I was game to give the app a go. Read on to find out how Kemtai stacked up to in-person workouts.
How Kemtai Works
Once you sign up for Kemtai, you input some basic information about yourself and, if you so choose, your fitness goals. The app is best used on a laptop with a camera so that it can easily track your movements and give feedback while still having a big enough screen for you to follow along with.
When you’re ready to sweat, you pick from its on-demand workout collection or opt for the build-your-own-workout tool to get a custom exercise sesh based on your preferences. The app includes a filter so you can easily search based on your favorite fitness modalities (like cardio or strength), workout length, or difficulty level. Whichever you go with, all of Kemtai’s workouts are designed to be home gym-friendly, meaning you’ll never need more than basic equipment like dumbbells or an exercise ball (if anything at all).
Once your workout starts, you step away from your laptop so the app’s computer vision technology can scan your body to locate target zones like your limbs and joints. It then tracks you as you move through the exercises alongside your virtual trainer, and uses AI to deliver custom feedback — like “go lower” or “bend your right elbow” — in real-time. The app also uses the same technology to analyze your performance in the moment with a bar graph-style meter that shows you how accurate your form is with every rep.
What It’s Like
There are hundreds of workouts to pick from, ranging from 5-minute beginner core workouts to Pilates sessions focused on specific body parts. I started with the 8-minute Upper-Body Shake Up to warm up, which included a series of 11 light exercises and stretches that woke up my arms and abs. The app tells you exactly what to do and when to do it, and you follow along with your trainer’s movements on the screen. Throughout the session, I was given several suggestions on tweaking my form — and, TBH, I was surprised by how accurate, specific, and helpful these were: The tips were often as simple as having me lower my arm just a touch, but this made all the difference in having proper form and feeling the exercise in the right muscles.
After that, I tried the 7-minute Booty Workout followed by a 20-minute Pilates for Upper Body and Core. For context, I prefer doing strength training in group fitness settings with loud music and choreography-like structure. The Booty Workout was a series of leg exercises — while effective, I was already familiar with the movements and so didn’t benefit much from the AI coaching.
Pilates, on the other hand, is alien to me, so the custom feedback helped improve my exercise posture and acquaint me with unfamiliar moves. At one point, I was instructed to lift my back and hips a little more during seated tricep dips, and this took the pressure out of my lower back and let my core and upper arms do the work. This felt like a true perk in digital fitness technology: I wouldn’t have sought out a one-on-one Pilates session otherwise, but this functioned as a virtual instructor that coached me from my laptop.
Besides sweating through on-demand workouts, you can also use Kemtai’s custom workout tool: Just pick a trainer, use sliding scales to identify what you’d like to work on (like flexibility, balance, or a body part), and select how long and difficult you’d like the workout to be. Within seconds, you get a customized strength session. This was my favorite feature: It helped me warm up and cool down for other activities, crank out short sweat breaks during the workday, and stretch, all while providing form adjustment tips that helped me make the most of each workout.
If you’re into tracking, the app also offers performance insights — so you can chart your activity over time, monitor progress, and get tailored workout recommendations.
Should You Try It?
If you love working out with the guidance of a personal trainer but don’t necessarily want to spend the money or schlep to a gym for a private session, Kemtai is a solid alternative. The same goes if you’re new to certain workout modalities: The app’s precise, customized suggestions let you slay new exercises so you can feel confident trying something different.
That said, if you’re more into group fitness or are a seasoned pro at the types of workouts the app offers, then Kemtai’s at-home coaching abilities may not be what you’re looking for. Nonetheless, you can’t beat the convenience of getting effective, instantaneous tips to enhance your sweat sesh without ever needing to set foot outside your house.
This article was originally published on