What with smart phone, smart watches and fitness trackers technology is likely digging it’s roots deeper and deeper into your daily routine. These devices can monitor your heart rate, your nutrition, your sleep habits and all sorts of aspects of your fitness-life. But all that hardware needs some quality software to get the most out of it. Here are our picks for the top 4 fitness apps of 2015 (so far) that can help you really bring your fit lifestyle to the next level.
P.S. – Just so nobody feels left out, we tried to stick to apps that work on both android and iOS. Free (or “freemium”) apps were also given priority.
5. Fitocracy – A support system can make all the difference when it comes to a health and fitness routine – especially when you’re first starting out. Essentially a fitness social network, Fitocracy offers access to a huge community – divided into smaller groups based on interest – with the ability to compete, learn, support and be supported. Fitocracy’s most interesting feature, though, is it’s effort to gamify fitness by giving you points and badges based on your workouts which can be tracked in-app. You will also have the ability to purchase time with Fitocracy-approved trainers for extra guidance. It should be noted that Fitocracy exists as both a website and mobile app, with a pretty distinct gap between the functionality of both. There is also a big difference between the android and iOS app, with android users frequently feeling cheated out of some pretty cool features.
4. Sworkit – Bodyweight training is all the rage these days since it can be done anywhere and doesn’t require any special equipment. Sworkit quickly throws together routines – either strength, cardio, stretching or yoga – that can last anywhere from 5 to 60 minutes depending on your schedule. As a bonus, each workout is accompanied by videos that show you how to do each exercise. You can also tailor the workouts around your goals and fitness level. The paid version of Sworkit ($3.99) gives you access to more exercises plus the ability to create and save customized workouts.
3. Stronglifts 5×5 – If your goal is to gain strength quickly or get familiar with big, technical lifts 5×5 training might be your best bet. While it won’t necessarily get you big or lean, sets consisting of 5 reps each has been shown in numerous studies to rapidly increase strength. That being said, Stronglifts is a sort of brand-name 5×5 program that focuses on just five lifts – bench press, squat, overhead press, deadlift and bent over rows. While the app itself is free, the owner and founder of Stronglifts is a pretty aggressive marketer so you may have to deal with a pretty strong push to buy other products. That being said, the Stronglifts app is well-designed and easy to use – walking you through each workout and even timing your rests.
2. My Fitness Pal – Exercise is only part of the fitness equation. In fact, most experts so it’s actually a very small portion of that equation. Nutrition, though, can have a powerful impact on your overall health and fitness. In the realm of nutrition tracking apps, My Fitness Pal (MFP) is one of the most popular and feature-packed. Once it knows your goals, MFP will calculate roughly how many calories you need to eat each day to get you there – along with smaller goals related to individual nutrient intakes. Each of these numbers can also be customized if you’re sticking to a high-protein or low-carb diet. Along the way, MFP has a huge catalog of food – complete with a barcode scanner – to make logging your daily diet easy.
1. JEFIT – While many fitness apps limit your workout-tracking ability to their programs, JEFIT allows you to build your own programs or pick own from a huge collection of both user- and expert-created routines. JEFIT does have both a mobile and web-based presence, with many features limited to just the website. There is also a social-networking feature, but it can be a little cumbersome to use. The tracking aspect of JEFIT, though, is smooth, detailed and easy to use.
Now that you’re fully equipped, why not take a few minutes to read through our other health and fitness articles to learn more?