Gearing Up: Best Fitness Apps

Getting an iPhone really changed my workout. There are thousands of health, fitness, and nutrition apps out there, so it can be a bit overwhelming to find the best ones out there. I’ve spent a great deal of time researching and using fitness apps in an attempt to find my favorites. Here are my recommendations:

Best Running Apps

  1. RunKeeper: I used to be a MapMyRUN devotee (see below), but recently I’ve gravitated towards RunKeeper. They’ve got the total program all in one app: training schedule, goal tracker, heartrate monitor input, GPS tracking, iTunes integration, and run analysis.
  2. MapMyRUN: Like I mentioned, MapMyRUN is my first love when it comes to running route tracking. I used to use the desktop site until I got my phone. But the app has all my saved routes, calorie tracker, and a social aspect as well as the GPS tracking like RunKeeper.
  3. Runner’s World Smart Coach: My favorite thing about this app is its simplicity. After a few multiple-choice questions (goal race distance, training level, long-run day, current race pace), it gives you a weekly plan for up to 16 weeks. You can then view your daily and weekly workouts, including suggested days for cross-training.
  4. Nike+: The only reason I use this app is because it’s the only one I have on my iPod Shuffle. That said, it does exactly what I need it to do: track my distance, time, and pace while playing my workout playlists. Easy to use, straight to the point. You can also integrate to the Nike+ site for an in-depth breakdown and analysis.

Best Workout Apps

  1. BodyRock.tv: Disclaimer: the marketing tactics of the BodyRock team are a bit gratuitous (think spandex short shorts and sports bras). That said, the trainers are ripped. And inspiring. Their app simply aggregates all the video workouts from their website, so you can have them on your phone or iPad. But what I like best is that the workouts are scalable. You can run through each 3- to 4-minute video once for beginners, twice for intermediates, and three time for more advanced BodyRockers.
  2. Nike Training Club: NTC is like having a personal trainer without paying for one. There are 85 workouts tailored to your goal; you can get lean, toned, strong, or focused, or all of the above over time. The app runs through the moves you’ll need for the workout and includes a timer. Plus, it tracks your workouts and gives you badges for completing a certain amount of workouts.
  3. myWOD: Love CrossFit but can’t afford box dues? This app contains tons of CrossFit workouts (in text form only) and has a built-in timer. After completing the workout, you can add it to your list and track your time, weight, and scoring to compete with friends or against yourself. (Note: This is an unofficial CrossFit app.)

Best Motivational Apps

  1. Gym Pact: This app is genius. It takes two of my biggest weaknesses (I make excuses not to work out, and I hate losing money) and leverages it to motivate me. I just enter how many days I want to commit to going to the gym and how much money I willing to wager. Then I check-in when I get to the gym. If I don’t check-in, I lose that money. At the end of the week, though, the money of those that didn’t go gets combined and distributed to those that did.  And now it integrates with RunKeeper!
  2. Fitocracy: End aguments over who’s stronger, faster, whatever-er among your friends. Fitocracy not only tracks your workout but lets you challenge friends to battle for who has the fastest mile time, who can bench the most, or who’s the most committed to their workout schedule.

Best Nutrition App

  1. SparkPeople Diet & Food Tracker: Even though you can track fitness, nutrition, weight, and water consumption, I use this app mainly as a food tracker. It’s your food journal for the digital age. Choose a food from their list, add your own, or scan a barcode. It then keeps track of calories, fat, sodium, etc, and you don’t have to do any math. You can also add goals so you know what you’re aiming for each day.

I know there are TONS more out there, so which ones do you use that I missed? Leave your suggestions and recommendations in the comments!

3 thoughts on “Gearing Up: Best Fitness Apps

  1. Pingback: Weekly Training Schedule 7.8.13 | the sole of a runner

  2. Pingback: Weekly Training Schedule | the sole of a runner

  3. Pingback: Healthbook | People's Lab

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