In the world of fitness, there are a lot of different levels. At the advanced stage, there are the buff gym bunnies who spent 90+ minutes, several times a week, working on every part of their bodies. They have a split – arms one day, legs the next, etc. – and they know exactly what exercises to do to achieve the results they want. Then, at the opposite end of the spectrum, there are the newbies, the individuals who just bought their first pair of running shoes and are venturing out for a walk around their neighbourhood. And, of course, there’s a whole lot of women in between – occasional gym bunnies, runners who have never lifted a weight in their lives, women who love weights and hate cardio, etc. There’s one thing everyone has in common, though – the need to keep things interesting.
Even the most dedicated gym rat can get burnt out doing the same routine day in and day out, and let’s face it – your body also plateaus if you’re doing the same five moves for five months solid. Everyone, regardless of their fitness level or goals, needs to mix it up a little. Sure, you could hire an expensive personal trainer, but why not use something you probably already have with you on your work out – your phone!
There are so many great apps that can help you figure out innovative new workouts, or even just help you keep track of your fitness level so you know what kind of changes you need to be making. Technological advances have given us these great products, so why not take advantage?
Here are 20 insane new (or improved) fitness apps that you need to check out.
A personal trainer can be a huge help in the gym – they’re experts and will know exactly what you need to be doing to get the results you want. However, their rate can sometimes be less than appealing, so here’s an awesome alternative. FitStar Personal Trainer does the same kind of follow-up a real life personal trainer might, asking you a couple questions at the end of your work out to see how it affected you (was it just way too intense in general, did you find it too easy, was there a particular muscle set that felt overly challenged, etc.) By answering those questions (and you better answer them honestly, ladies!) you give the app an indication of your fitness level and fitness needs. Plus, former NFL superstar Tony Gonzalez helped to create it – that’s endorsement enough!
While many apps give you workouts to follow, Fitnet ups the ante by using one aspect of your phone – its camera – to keep tabs on your workout. The camera allows the app to see your body as it goes through the workout, and it can tell whether there were periods where you stumbled a bit, where you missed something, etc. That’s right, ladies – you can’t cheat and skip a set, it’ll know! While it can’t give you the motivation to actually start the workout, it’s a great way to get feedback on how you did – and, if you’re workout out alone, it’ll help curb your tendency to skip a rep or two because ‘no one will know.’
18 WOD Deck of Cards
This app is fantastic because it both changes up your routine, and lets you pick the exercises you love to do. WOD stands for workout of the day, and the ‘deck of cards’ aspect of the app allows you to choose four exercises – one for each suit. Sure, you could do it with a physical deck of cards, but who wants to go lugging around one more item in their gym bag? You can assign whatever exercises you want to each suit, meaning that if you really, really hate squats, you don’t need to do them! Incorporate what you like, and just keep drawing card after card until you feel you’ve had a good workout (or, if you’re up for a challenge, until you finish the whole deck!)
17 Pump Up
Okay, let’s face it – pretty much everyone hates that person who is constantly posting about being at the gym on their social media accounts. From gym mirror bicep selfies to boasts of ‘killing your personal record,’ it can get annoying for everyone following you. However, that kind of stuff is a good motivator – it keeps you accountable. So, what’s a girl to do? Pump Up! This app is a social platform where you can post statuses and photos of your fitness-related activities for others who are also crushing it at the gym. You get some encouragement, and as an added bonus, some extra motivation from seeing everyone else giving their 110%.
16 Spring Moves
A workout isn’t a workout without some great tunes, right? However, it can be tough to choose exactly what you need. Sure, you can pick the artists you love and the songs that get you feeling pumped up, but when you’re doing something like running for a longer distance, you don’t want a playlist that keeps getting you out of whack because it changes up the tempo every song. At the same time, who has the energy to create playlists with similar tempos to keep you on track? Well, the good news is, you don’t have to do it – just download Spring, it’ll do it for you. Spring comes loaded with playlists created by DJs that are all grouped by bpm (beats per minute). Pick a tempo you’re feeling up to (quick walk, light jog, whichever you want) and it’ll keep you going at a steady pace.
15 Zombies, Run!
This app is so popular that it’s gone through many iterations, and it’s already in its third edition. This is the perfect app for anyone who hates workout out, or anyone who’s struggling to find the motivation. Basically, you’re in a hypothetical world where zombies are running free (that’s right, you can combine your desire to get in shape with your love of The Walking Dead!) For every step you take, you get rewarded with either tools or supplies that will help you save humanity from those pesky zombies. The app boasts over a million users, so it’s obviously doing something right. Come on – join the fight while you get in great shape.
There are a lot of great apps that have certain set workouts, but what if you don’t always have the same amount of time? Maybe on your busy days you can only squeeze in a few minutes of exercise while on leisurely weekends you can fit in an hour or more. Sworkit is the perfect solution. First of all, you don’t need to worry about getting down to the gym – the app is loaded with high intensity bodyweight workouts (translation – all you need is yourself). You can pick what type of workout you’re feeling (from strength training to cardio to yoga) and then pick the amount of time you have – anything from five minutes to an hour. After the app has determined the perfect workout to fit your mood and schedule at that moment, it’ll help you along the way with videos and a rep countdown.
13 Couch to 5K
Everyone has probably uttered the same phrase at some point in their lives – “I want to start running.” For people looking to get their feet wet in the running world, the 5k race is one of the first milestones. It’s difficult for beginners, but not so difficult that you can’t work your way up to it in a fairly short amount of time. This app just helps. It gives you an eight week time frame to go from couch potato to 5k runner, as the name suggests, by incorporating three 30 minute workouts a week. Not unreasonable, right? Sure, you could work up to it in your own, but designing a training schedule can be daunting for beginners – this way, as long as you’re willing to lace up your shoes, you’ll get there in eight weeks.
This one isn’t exactly revolutionary, but anyone with even a small interest in fitness has probably used something similar. Sure, you can buy expensive GPS watches and training gear, but for the fitness beginner, that can be a huge expense. Why not use something you already have on your phone? If you prefer being active outdoors rather than on cardio machines like treadmills, but still want to know the distance you’re going and roughly the amount of calories you’re burning, this app is the perfect solution. You can indicate what activity you’re doing – walking, running, biking, etc. – and the app will tell you how long you’ve been doing it, what your average mile time is, how far you’ve gone, etc. It’s a great way to both track your progress and encourage yourself to keep improving.
11 Charity Miles
This app is an incredibly cool way to both squeeze your workout in and do a little good in the world. It tracks your activity, like many other apps, but for every mile of exercise you do –biking, walking, anything – you earn a bit of money for a charity. It’s nothing huge – about 25 cents for every mile you walk or run and 10 cents for every mile you bike – but if you’re training consistently, it adds up and you can feel good about yourself for more than one reason. For those who aren’t quite up to completing a charity 10k, this can be a great way to raise a little money for a good cause while staying fit.
Are you one of those people that needs to pay a trainer to come to your house and pretty much drag you into your running shoes and onto the track? Does there need to be something at stake in order for you to get your butt into the gym? If you answered yes to either of those questions, Pact might be just the app for you. With this app, you can make a weekly wager that you’ll get your butt into the gym. If you don’t, you have to pony up however many of your hard-earned dollars that you pledged. If you succeed, you get some cold hard cash as a reward – courtesy of other users who opted for a Netflix marathon rather than a Stairmaster session. Now that’s motivation!
Most people like to listen to music while they work out, and RockMyRun is another cool app that helps create the perfect playlist for your sweat session. You can choose a playlist based on whatever genre you love and then the beat will sync to either your heart rate or your tempo, depending on what gear you have. It’ll both encourage you to keep up your tempo, and also push you to give that little bit extra. Sure, you could just listen to whatever music you love, but the perfectly tailored beats on these playlists make sure that you’re being consistent, not plunging from eight minute miles to twelve minute miles halfway through your workout because you’re feeling tired.
8 Hot5 Fitness
Forget one personal trainer – Hot5 Fitness allows you to carry around several in your pocket, all with varying specialties, from Pilates to CrossFit. As with many fitness apps, you can select a workout length and the app will find the perfect routine for you. You can even track the calories you’ve burnt in your workout on MyFitnessPal (another app you should be using, in case you aren’t already) to supercharge your whole healthy regime. You can get a look at your progress over the course of several weeks, and stay motivated with a huge stable of different workouts routines.
7 CARROT Fit
Did you watch The Biggest Loser and admire trainer Jillian Michaels bark? Are you a bigger fan of tough love than trainer who coddle you and let you get away with skipping reps? Then CARROT Fit might just be the perfect fit for you. It’s definitely not for everyone, as it barks out orders and criticism, judging you if you’ve gotten less than stellar results on your weekly weigh in or if you’ve skipped the gym once or twice. However, for if you don’t find that you can motivate yourself effectively without some drill sergeant breathing down your neck and yelling out critiques, this app might be just what you’ve been looking for.
6 7 Minute Workout Challenge
One of the biggest reasons that many people give for failing to work out regularly is that they just can’t find the time. Part of the reason is that many don’t realize the smallest amounts of exercise can add up to considerable change – you don’t need to be carving out two hours in your day, every day, for some mega-workout. It’s just not sustainable unless you’re already a fitness enthusiast. 7 minutes, though? Everyone can find 7 minutes in their day. However, if you’ve made an effort to find one or two periods during the day where you can clear up seven minutes – maybe while waiting for your coffee to brew in the morning, or after you brush your teeth at night – how are you supposed to know what to do? This app provides 36 different exercises that you can do to begin making changes in your workout regime.
Are you someone who has a competitive spirit, who likes rewards for every set of squats you do? Well, then, you need Fitocracy in your life. Rather than unlocking achievements after spending hours on your butt playing video games, you can unlock achievements by earning points from a variety of physical activities. You can get points for a wide variety of workouts, so you can pick and choose things that appeal to you. As the points rack up, you also level up – it’s an addicting process, and unlike games such as Candy Crush, you won’t feel bad for wasting so much time trying to get to the next level – you’ll have some rock hard abs to show for it!
Okay, I can hear all you ladies who prefer dumbbells to ellipticals protesting – what about us? We don’t need all these apps for cardio, to track our runs and create playlists that match our tempo! Well, lucky for you, there’s an app that caters to your needs as well – JEFIT. This app is specifically targeted to individuals looking for strength training routines. There’s a huge database sorted by body part, so you can pick what groups you’re looking to work and find corresponding exercises. Everyone embarking on a bodybuilding regime knows that you can’t train the same muscle groups for a week solid – you have to mix it up, do arms one day and legs the next. With this app, you can figure out exactly what exercises you need to be doing when ab day rolls around, and exactly how to do them.
3 Nike+ Training Club
We all admire professional athletes with their insane physiques, and while you might not be able to train in the same facilities as them, you can suit up in your Nike gear and join the training club (sorry – we can’t guarantee any multi-million dollar endorsement deals). The workouts in this app aren’t just put together by someone with an exercise book – they’re carefully crafted by master trainers at Nike. You can adjust things like your fitness level and your fitness goal and the app will spit out different workouts that’ll help you achieve everything you want. And don’t worry, beginners – the app also has great videos, so if you don’t know how to do a particular exercise incorporated into the routine, it’ll show you exactly how.
All the workouts in the world aren’t going to have an impact on your physique if you’re constantly scarfing down double cheeseburgers and extra-saucy orders of wings. However, on one wants to miss out on time with friends. So, if your girls call you to have a girls’ night out – dinner included – how can you say yes without compromising what you’ve worked so hard in the gym for? Easy – get HealthyOut. If you put in your location, the app will list several restaurants nearby that have some good options and even steer you towards the menu options that are the healthiest. That’s right – you can have your cake and eat it too. Icing on the side, though.
Ah, MyFitnessPal. The holy grail of health and fitness apps. The one you’ll find every fitness addict opening up time and time again. It was founded all the way back in 2003, and there’s a reason that fitness empire Under Armour paid over $500 million to acquire it. It’s still every bit as popular today as it was when it was founded, and the reason is simple – it works. Every gym bunny whose physique you admire will parrot the same phrases back to you – abs are made in the kitchen, you can’t out-train a bad diet. If you want to get that six pack, you need to at least be aware of how many calories you’re putting into your body. This app is perfect for that – there’s an absolutely enormous database of foods, and if you find yourself constantly reaching for the same foods, it’s even easier, as the app records your favorites and frequent meals. Plus, you can add in your fitness information to balance things out. That means if you burn 500 calories in your SoulCycle class, you can maybe squeeze in that extra treat you’ve been craving.