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Tony Gonzalez's next playing field: iPad | News

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Tony Gonzalez's next playing field: iPad

(USA TODAY) -- Future NFL Hall of Famer Tony Gonzalez may have played his last professional football game, but he's already preparing for his next playing field: the iPad.

The FitStar: Tony Gonzalez app, in development and due for the iPad this spring (no price yet), transports the Atlanta Falcons' star into your living room as your fitness trainer. A customizable program with more than 60 exercises, FitStar lets users set their own goals for fitness and weight loss and create workouts to help them achieve those goals.

"It will be a tailor-made program for you specifically," Gonzalez says. "It's like I'm there with you. We're going through this together."

Gonzalez is an ideal fitness guru. He just finished his 16th NFL season - the last four with the Falcons after his first dozen with the Kansas City Chiefs. "Over the last five years, I guess I've developed a reputation for being healthy and fit," says Gonzalez, whose fitness level has helped him flourish in the latter years of his career. He has made the most catches of any tight end in NFL history (1,242) and is No. 2 among all receivers behind only Jerry Rice, who caught 1,549.

That reputation led San Francisco-based start-up FitStar Labs to approach Gonzalez about its mobile app plans last year. "We instantly discovered we shared a vision around making fitness and health more accessible, engaging and inspirational to a broad audience," says Mike Maser, founder and CEO of FitStar. The year-old firm has the backing of Google Ventures and other venture funds.

Tackling the fitness app, developed initially for the iPad, "seemed like a perfect match," Gonzalez says. "I loved the idea of it, the technology behind it and how convenient it is. It makes sense."

Free to download with additional for-pay content that will cost much less than standard fitness DVDs, FitStar leads users through an initial survey that will create their personalized program - perhaps focusing on a workout around busy schedules and including advice for overall conditioning, weight loss and nutrition.

Gonzalez demonstrates the easy-to-do-at-home exercises - among them push-ups, squats and jumping rope - and leads the user through the workout. "I just wanted to make sure it is convenient for anybody who is traveling or for a beginner, but also challenging for that expert out there who has been working out for a while," says Gonzalez, who shot the videos last summer before the NFL season began. "I was sore as heck when I we shot these videos. It's what I incorporate into my own routine."

Much of the regimen emphasizes core strength. "For me that is what athleticism and being in shape is all about," Gonzalez says. "I know what has helped me play 16 years is that I have really good balance and core."


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