While I love basically low tech workouts like running, the TRX, bodyweight work and kettlebells, sometimes I can’t help but infuse them with some high tech help from my iphone. While my phone is always on me for emails, shooting video and obsessively checking IMDB each time I see and actor who I recognize but can’t place (seriously my phone has reached near appendage levels…I might need help at this point), it’s also my new favorite workout buddy. With that in mind, here are five of my current favorite apps that help me get in shape, get more out of my workouts, map my runs and keep track of my calories. FYI all these apps are FREE!!!
- bit timer: This is my go to app for strength training intervals since you can set any work time and rest time you want, then set how many times you’d like to repeat that interval sequence. While your playlist plays in the background, the app alerts you when your intervals start and end and even gives a countdown. I love using it for tabata training and circuit work, plus it is supremely user friendly.
- gymboss: I love the traditional GymBoss timer and I’m so happy they’ve come out with an app. It allows you to create your own timer with intervals and rounds, choose from preset programs like tabata training or boxing rounds, plus it also has a basic stop watch.
- lose it: I cannot exclaim my love of food journals loud enough! I’ve been in the health and fitness field for years and I’ve even written a book on the subject, but I also really love food and can easily overeat. I totally attribute my use of food journals to weight loss and weight maintenance succes and lose it is one of my favorite food journal apps. It’s easy to use, includes a very extensive library of foods to choose from and calculates calories from recipes. You can also add and track exercise, and the graphics make it easy to see how many calories you’ve consumed and how many you have left.
- Nike Training Club: This is a great alternative to workout videos or a personal trainer since this app comes with tons of different workouts and workout programs. It has great graphics and videos of the exercises and you can choose workout based on a beginner, intermediate or advanced levels. There are cardio workouts, strength workouts and a combo of both with goals like toning, leaning out, getting strong or targeting certain body parts. All exercises are done for a preset amount of time like 15 seconds or a minute and you can play your own music in the background. The only hitch is that you have to look at your phone to see the workout and the exercises so unless you know what say a plank row to rotation is, I’d recommend keeping your phone in front of you instead of wearing it on an armband.
- runkeeper: I’m always kinda “estimating” my outdoor runs and this app uses GPS to actually track them, which was rather eye opening for me. A run I had been doing for years and thought was my easy 3 miler, turns out to be only 2.5 miles so, thank you Runkeeper…I think:) One of my other favorite things about this app, it allows you to input things like a target pace, intervals and “fitness classes” with audio cues and pace trackers. The fitness classes are training programs like 5k, 10k, half marathon and weight loss training plans designed for different levels of runners. I love anything that takes the guess workout out of working out and this app is great for that! Plus you can post your runs to Facebook and Twitter and use the RunKeeper community to keep you motivated!
I recommend giving these apps a try for your next workout. Let me know what you think and which one is your favorite! Plus check back soon since I’m going to do a video review of these apps so you can see them in action!