Smartphones have taken over our lives. The distraction factor of having the world of social media and google and games and photos and Whats App and…see what I mean. Despite all these distractions, my smartphone has really become an enriching part of my life through the use of apps. Specifically fitness apps. A good fitness app truly is like having a dedicated trainer in your back pocket, ready to put you through your paces at a moment’s notice, at any time of day, anywhere you are.
I’ve been using a few, but I’m sure there are many more out there and even more still to be developed, so I here are my thoughts on the best mobile fitness apps for Andriod or IOS on the market right now.
Freeletics– this is one hardcore but super effective. It is packed with workouts named after mythological gods for you to concur. It is based on bodyweight exercises, so the only equipment you’ll need is a sturdy pull-up bar and some space. For most of the workouts, you won’t require more space than an open surface of 2x2m or 43 sq foot, although a few workouts require up to 40m/43y to do short runs in. Your driveway should be sufficient for this.
This App also features 3 levels for each workout to match your level of experience. If the workout requires you to do pull-ups, for instance, the Standard workout would have you do Kipping Pull-ups, the Endurance level is a little easier and gives you jumping pull-ups while the Strength level makes you do Muscle-ups. I do feel they might have gone for strict pull-ups in some workouts instead of kipping pull-ups, but since timing the workouts is used as a means of tracking your progression and rank, it makes sense to complete the exercises as quick as possible which is why kipping pull-ups fit in nicely. Freeletics also features running workouts, which is just as effective for getting you ultra fit in as short a time as possible. The community is quite active and you can see what people from all around the world are up to. To fully benefit from the app you would have to make a few in-app purchases.
Madbarz- This one also provides very effective workouts, which are all built on bodyweight exercises. So with this app, you will need a pull-up bar, a dip bar and a place to do box jumps and elevated push-ups.
But it’s different from Freeletics in that it tracks your performance by way of a total number of reps. A typical workout is preloaded with goal reps for every set that you do during the workout, so, although at the end of it all you will have done a decent workout, the goal reps might just hold you back from pushing to your 100% effort. Of course, it is totally up to you and the app allows you to set your own goal reps and go beyond it. I’ve just found that when you start hitting that red zone and you’ve hit the goal, it is just too easy to stop there and not push harder. Even so, I still enjoy using this app to change things up in my training regimen.
Nike Training Club (NTC)– Nike’s app is great for anybody who is looking for an app that offers a lot of variety and is more suited to a gym environment as it utilizes some equipment like dumbbells, kettlebells, barbells, rowing machines and so on. However, it does also offer workouts that use only your own bodyweight, which is the kind I like the best. This means that if you are a ‘train anywhere’ kind of person (and with today’s busy schedules, who isn’t), you won’t be able to make full use of the very wide variety of workouts on offer in this app.
A big plus point though is that is seamlessly integrated with the Nike Run Club(NRC) app, which is really an awesome feature. Also, it is absolutely free, from the download to the added coaching features, which is the kind of thing that you would pay for with Freeletics and Madbarz.
Six Pack Promise– offered up by Jeff Cavaliere, a YouTube star of the AthleanX channel, which has over 2 million subscribers at the time of writing this article. Daily Ab-workouts is what he preaches because it works. This app is loaded with ab workouts that are 5-10 minutes long depending on your level. It is a paid app but it also offers a great nutrition guide, which is really great value for 60 of your South African Rands(about $5).
Each of these apps are really great to get your fitness journey started and are packed full of ways to reach your fitness goals. As you progress you will need to use more than just one specific app to reach your goals, as none of these apps offer you as complete a guide as when they are combined. Happy training, and see if you can beat the challenges I’ve set for you.