You have access to all the technology and information in the world right in your pocket. Why wouldn’t you use it to help reach your goals? I have a bit of a hoarding habit when it comes to fitness apps. I am obsessed with trying out every new thing that comes my way. After all, if you don’t try new things, how will you find what works for you? Here are eight recommendations from my iTunes to help you hit your 2018 goals.
Some of these links are affiliate links. If you choose to make a purchase based on my recommendation, I will make a small commission. This money goes towards maintaining Triple S and getting my NASM certification.
Fitocracy is one of the most fun fitness apps out there! This one genuinely makes working out feel like playing a video game – the more you work out, the more experience points you get, and then you level up! I personally thrive in measurable progress, so when Fred the robot tells me I’ve leveled up, I feel a huge burst of pride.
In addition to leveling up, there are also quests, achievements, and a community all designed to help support your fitness journey.
The app and the website provide you with several pre-made workouts, allow you to build your own, and give you the option of hiring a coach or joining a personal training group for a fraction of the cost of hiring a personal trainer.
This one is especially good, I think, for newbies to lifting who are just getting into strength training. I have not used it in a while because I’ve moved on to other strength training apps. I always recommend it for people who are just starting out and want a friendly interface.
I just started using Aaptive a few weeks ago, when someone from the company reached out and asked me to try it. (My attempts to get started with were immediately derailed by a bout of bronchitis, which left me moping and miserable and away from my beloved gym.) As I’ve said before, I will never recommend something I do not use or have not used.
When I was scrolling through the classes the app had to offer, I had one major test in mind. Can this app get me to run on the treadmill?
I hate the treadmill with a fiery passion. I love running outside, it’s meditative and peaceful and I get to explore my neighborhood in the process. Going nowhere and seeing nothing new makes the treadmill a painful experience. I need some sort of sensory input to keep me going. But it’s a wind chill of zero in New York City right now, which means you’re lucky to get me outside, let alone running for any extended period of time.
I chose a 22 minute class which included walks, jogs, and sprints. Getting verbal feedback, countdowns, and encouragement from the instructor throughout made the experience way more engaging. I finished the class feeling energized and ready to do more. This app gives me hope that I can continue working on running throughout the winter. Watch out springtime 10Ks, here I come.
The app provides a series of classes for pretty much any cardio machine in the gym, free weights, body weight, stretching, and meditation. You can search for classes based on length of time and your ability level. I personally found the cardio classes to be where the app excels, and am less fond of their strength training programs.
The only major qualm I have with it, is that the calorie burn and distance estimated for each class is on the high side. Often an instructor will give you a range of incline, speed, etc. and the app’s estimations assume you are doing the maximum. For example, that 22 minute class estimated 2.2 miles and 247 calories. My Apple Watch on the other hand showed me at 1.61 miles and 136 calories (166 if you could the calories I burned just from existing during that 22 minutes!). Something to keep in mind.
Try getting a FitBit with a heart rate function to get a better picture of your actual distance and calorie burn.
I think just about everyone knows a Beachbody coach or someone who has tried to sucker you into buying Shakeology. I was a Beachbody coach for a while last year until I realized how stupid it was that I had to pay THEM to sell THEIR products. Also, I’m not a fan of their protein shakes at all. I prefer Protein Milkshake Bar by a long shot.
Shady business practices aside, I love Beachbody’s programs. I’ve done P90X and Insanity MAX:30 in the past, and I always go to Core de Force if I need a quick cardio workout that also lets me practice my taekwondo in the process. (I’ll double or triple my kicks to get that extra practice.) Of course, the programs cost quite a bit. Core de Force costs $59, Insanity MAX:30 is $79, P90X is $119, plus all of these have shipping costs and you have to wait for them to be delivered.
This is why I recommend Beachbody on Demand. BOD is Beachbody’s own streaming service which allows access to their FULL workout library. They have videos online that go back to TurboJam. (I remember those ads on TV when I was in high school.) You also get access to their most up to date programs as soon as they’re released – I actually got early access to Core de Force when I signed up for BOD in 2016. Membership pricing starts at $39 for a quarterly membership to $99 for a full year, which comes with a 30-day money back guarantee.
Remember when I said I graduated from Fitocracy? Here’s its badass older brother. Bodyspace is run by fitness juggernaut Bodybuilding.com. They have a massive library of training programs to choose from crafted by professional trainers!
Select a program and you can set up calendar reminders for your days in the gym. The interface easily allows you to enter your reps and weight for each exercise, and will calculate your one rep max. (Me and my numbers again, I love watching that 1MR estimation go up. It’s solid proof of the strength gains you’re making and the effectiveness of Bodyspace’s workout programs!
Don’t like the programs they have? Feel free to add your own. Occasionally I find the problem of them not having a workout in their library. For example, they have one-arm kettlebell swings but they don’t have a two-handed kettlebell swing. They have 1,100 exercises in the library so that’s still a wide variety of motion.
At the end of the workout, you can see how much weight you lifted total and the parts of the body you worked. You also get a recap email on Tuesdays of your previous week’s work with a visual of the muscle groups you hit and progress you’re making in your strength gains.
Mindbody is less of a fitness app in and of itself, and more of a platform for finding classes in your neighborhood. There’s no fee to use the app, just the cost of the classes you choose to take. It’s a great way to explore what fitness options there are near you and gives you a chance to try something new.
It’s also great when you’re traveling and want to get in a class but do not know the area well! When I helped move my brother out to Chicago for college, I was able to find a Bikram studio within biking distance from our hotel, and slipped away for a good stretch-and-sweat before joining the rest of my family for dinner.
If you’re the kind of person who is more motivated by group classes, I suggest checking this one out.
Plus if you’re sore and need a massage or want a good pedicure inside your sneakers, the app can help you book appointments in beauty and wellness as well!
Ohhhhhh I went there.
You can’t outrun your fork, this was a mistake I made for years – claiming I ate 1500 calories a day, when I was probably eating 2500. “But I work out!” I told myself, almost in tears over the weight gain and frustration.
There is no way to out-exercise a poor diet, so I’m a huge advocate of tracking your intake honestly and consistently. (Not an advocate of adding some sort of morality or guilt aspect, just honesty plus some math and science.) It’s a great way to learn about your eating habits.
Plus, you can have me as an accountability buddy. I’m using it to track my macros for my IIFYM blueprint. Add me, superpowerssoldseparately, as a friend for some extra emotional support!
I couldn’t help myself with the numbers.
A short workout is better than no workout at all. Seven is just about the simplest, easy to use fitness app for a quick body-weight workout. No fancy moves, no frills, no equipment. Seven provides simple moves with an animated demonstrator to get you moving.
This app has developed quite a bit since I first downloaded it, when it had one single circuit. The original circuit is still available for free. Seven also offers membership options which give you more guided and targeted workouts.
This app is great for beginners who may not want to invest in a lot of equipment. If you’re already fit and need a good, short morning routine to start the day, this is also a great option for you. Or if you’re big on traveling but don’t have a lot of equipment, this is a good way to make sure you can at least eke out one short workout in your hotel room!
8. Two-for-One: Nike+ Run Club and Nike Training Club
I’m going to admit, I haven’t used NTC yet. But, I do have it downloaded because of my love for Nike+ Run Club. This was the app I was most excited to try out once I had gotten my Apple Watch; I was not disappointed.
The NRC coaches are less talkative than the Aaptive coaches, because they aren’t really leading a class. Rather, they really feel like they are coaching you. They explain why you would do certain runs, how you should physically feel during your run, and provide positive reinforcement.
I went on a lot of really joyful runs between getting the app and the weather turning too cold to run outside.
NRC also offers training schedules for races! As a Couch to 5K graduate, I did not really know much about tempo runs or benchmark runs. All of these runs are designed to increase performance, not just running longer and longer.
I cannot wait for the warm weather so I can go outside and get back to using this app. Who knows, maybe I’ll try the training schedule for a half-marathon! The Spartan Beast is 13 miles after all.
Have you tried any of the apps above? Got any other recommendations? Let me know in the comments! And make sure to sign up to join the SuperSquad to get the latest updates sent straight to your inbox!