Are you feeling left out because you don’t have a personal fitness tracker yet? Don’t be. If you have a smartphone, there are a number of free or cheap mobile apps that have some of the same features: calorie tracking, activity tracking, heart rate monitoring, and even customized workouts to help you reach your fitness goals. What’s more, a number of these apps are especially useful for maximizing your workout time at the fitness center.
Just like personal fitness trackers, many apps can help you track calories, workouts and fitness stats all in one location. Some even sync with popular fitness trackers so you won’t have to enter information twice. A few general fitness and nutrition tracking apps you might want to check out include My Fitness Pal, the FitBit app, and the “Lose It!” app. As with dedicated trackers, you’ll want to keep your smartphone on you at all times so the apps can give you credit for all your activity both in and outside the fitness gym.
Coaching and Workout Apps
If you need some motivation and a workout plan that fits your current abilities and goals, there’s an app for that (well, actually, several). FitStar, Touchfit: Georges St-Pierre, Pear Personal Coach, Sworkit and 30 Day Challenges are just a few apps that help match you with customizable workouts and include features like video demonstrations, cues, and advice from athletes and expert trainers.
Having the right music can make all the difference in getting in a quality workout and having a good time. FIT radio, Spotify Premium, RockMyRun, MotionTraxx, and Spring Running Music are a few subscription-based apps that can help you create custom playlists based on the type of activity you’re doing. A few, like RockMyRun, actually detect when you speed up or slow down and match the music to your cadence, while others keep a steady beat to help you stay in your target training zone during your cardio sessions.
Weight Lifting Apps
Everyone who lifts weights knows it’s important to track your weight, reps and sets, and yes – there are even apps that can help you with that. Jefit, GymBook, Strong, and StrongLifts 5×5 are a few apps that help you keep track of your resistance training schedule along with other workouts so you won’t have to keep carrying around that crumpled piece of paper as you go from one weight machine to the next at the fitness center.
Gym Motivation Apps
Some days you might even need motivation to get to the gym. Apps like Pact and StickK can help you do that by putting your money where your gym shoes are. Whenever you follow through with gym attendance (tracked by GPS) or honor your personal fitness contract, you keep your bet. When you fail, other users, your friends, or a favorite charity collect the dough. How’s that for some extra motivation?
This is just a drop in the bucket of app-based fitness resources that can help streamline and customize your workout routine. Whether you use them to try something new, track your progress, or get just the motivation you need to push through that hard workout, smartphone fitness apps are a great complement to your fitness gym membership.