I’ve written extensively in the past about Google’s new Smart Canvas tools and, quite honestly, I’ve become a huge fan. These nifty tools, including smart chips, tables and more, have practically reinvented Google Docs for the new age. Now, it’s not just a writing tool, but a potential replacement for apps like Notion. You could even use it as a personal journal (more on this another day)! The cherry on top? The recent addition of the “Help me write” feature, which you may or may not have just yet, make crafting a fitness routine a breeze. No, seriously, check this out.
Powered by Duet AI, “Help me write” it’s the ideal partner for anyone looking to create a workout routine. I was tinkering with it and realized this because I’m no fitness expert. Instead, I wanted something simple that would help me get my body moving without needing a subscription service or anything crazy like that. You could also just pull up “workout with me” videos on YouTube and follow along with them, but this provides an alternative that’s more tailored to your needs.
To get started, just open a new Google Doc, hit the ‘Help me write’ button (the magic wand with the sparkle), and a dialog box will pop up. This is where you tell the AI exactly what you’re looking for, like a “full-body workout” or a “cardio routine”. Once you’ve put in your request, it will serve up a list of suggestions.
Pick the one that resonates with your fitness goals, and you’ve got yourself a personalized workout routine just like that! Remember, you can alter this as much as you want to make sure it’s the perfect fit for you, but unlike Bard, you’ll have to start over and give it different instructions instead of tweaking the ones you already created.
But this feature isn’t just for crafting routines. If you’re unsure how to do a certain exercise, all you have to do is ask! Just type in “how do I do a squat,” for instance, and the AI will guide you through it step by step. It’s like having a personal trainer at your beck and call! I suppose it’s kind of like Google Searching, but you can store this information in a ‘Notes’ section or something via a header and use the outliner to quickly navigate to the advice you’ve generated.
Google Docs also makes keeping track of your workouts a cinch. With the Smart Canvas header feature, you can create sections for different workouts, like “arm day,” “leg day,” or just the day of the week. It’s the hassle-free way to track your progress, and you can choose whether or not to overwrite the previous week’s workouts or just create an ongoing list.
For an enhanced workout and a bit of accountability, consider integrating a timer smart chip into the mix just above the workout sets and reps. It’s an excellent tool for timing your workouts to avoid overexertion. Just hit start before you pump iron or do some pushups.
But why stop there? To jump into the action even quicker (and to give yourself less excuses), consider using a Google Smart Canvas Calendar event chip next to your timer as seen above so that your workout pops up on your daily calendar. Then, attach your AI-driven Workout Google Doc to the event so you can access it with one click.
Then, to avoid having to type things over and over again, give yourself a ‘Prompts’ header, place a few types of workout AI prompts there in a bulleted list, and collapse the header. You can access these any time and copy and paste them into the ‘Help me write’ generative AI tool!
That’s about it! I know this is rudimentary, and kind of weird compared to just downloading an app, but again, there’s power in simplicity. You don’t need to be perfect to start working out. You don’t even need to track everything. You just need something that’s going to light a fire under you and AI can generate a tailored workout that fits your specific needs and desires.
Pro tip: Use Google Keep or a sub section in your Workout Doc to make notes on how you feel during your workout, anything you may need to change, and so on. You can even log how much weight you can handle for a specific exercise, or state that you want to alter it for the next time if it’s too difficult.
You want to start out with just a few things and don’t want to deal with all of the complexities of apps, videos, egomaniacs in the comments section of YouTube videos, and so on? Give this a go! A word of caution though – (healthy and supportive) community is vital in your journey, so don’t get so isolated in a Google Doc that you forget to include others and get inspired by those around you. Instead, use this as a “springboard” for a new habit, and stop making excuses to get started!