What are the best fitness apps?
There are a wide range of brilliant fitness apps available, and as personal trainers we are often asked which ones we use and love, so here is a roundup of our favourites.
Best Timer App
Seconds Pro Interval Timer, £4.99
This brilliant home training app is ideal for timing HIIT, Tabata and circuit training intervals, keeping you on track and acting as a mini PT, holding you accountable for every second.
As well as being fully customisable, the app also comes with templates already set up for common intervals and it can even speak the exercise names instead of just beeping an alert, so you don’t need to remember what’s coming next – it will tell you!
The app has a clear display with coloured screen changes to show you which interval you are on, and it even allows you to match your music to the intensity of your workout.
Best Nutrition App
MyFitnessPal is a quick and easy way to keep track of the calories and nutrients you are eating every day – ideal if you are trying to stick to a healthy eating plan. With a database of over 5 million foods, many with accurate portion sizes already entered, just search for the food you are eating and add it to your daily journal. Even easier – just scan the bar code and the nutritional information will magically appear.
After adding some basics details – height, weight, goal etc – MyFitnessPal recommends a daily calorie intake. Our only note of caution is that the app still considers that you have stuck to your plan even if you’re under calories, but 1 calorie over is deemed a failure – we think it’s more sensible to consider a 400 calorie window (200 calories either side) to aim for.
As well as calories, the app sets your macro splits, so you can aim for certain percentages of protein, fats and carbohydrates each day. Your PT at MW Fitness will be very happy to discuss your calorie and macro goals with you, to tweak the recommended levels to fit your individual training plan.
Best Running/Cycling Apps
Runmeter, Free (In-App Purchases)
Runmeter can be used to track cycling, running, walking, skating, skiing and other cardio activities, and turns your iPhone into a powerful fitness computer with maps, graphs, splits, intervals, laps, announcements, zones, training plans and more. You can even share your workout with your personal trainer!
Strava, Free (In-App Purchases)
Strava is ideal for indoor and outdoor running and cycling, swimming, hiking, crossfit, surfing, gym workouts and more, tracking your speed, distance and other key stats. Giving you access to the world’s largest route and trail map, you can discover new routes for your morning jog or Sunday ride, and it allows you to join teams and social networks for some friendly competition and motivation.
MapMyRun, Free (In-App Purchases)
Track and map every run with MapMyRun and discover the best running routes around Bishop’s Stortford! Tracking your performance and displaying your stats in easy to read charts and graphs, over 50 million runners use this handy app to log their runs, from a couple of kilometres to ultra-marathons! Get your friends to download it and start challenges to keep each other motivated.
Best Music App
Music is so important when you’re working out, it motivates you to turn up the tempo when you’re feeling the burn. Put together some decent workout playlists and structure them by heartrate or activity.
Listening to music is great for Fartlek training when you’re running – try jogging for the verse, and then sprint for the chorus – the chorus is always more motivational! Make sure you identify a power song that will give you instant motivation (on some iPods you can even programme this in), stick it on when you’re flagging and get to the end of your workout.
Working out isn’t meant to be boring and adding a mix of your favourite tunes makes it more enjoyable. You will usually find your workout seems to fly when you’re listening to music too – you’ll be done before you know it.
Best Training Threshold App
MyZone, Free (Belt purchased separately)
As you know, at MW Fitness we absolutely love the Myzone heart rate tracking app and use it for personal training and group classes at our Bishop’s Stortford studio whenever we can.
Motivating you to get the most from your workout, the app is calibrated to your personal fitness levels, so when you put on the comfortable belt the display will let you (and your personal trainer) know how hard you’re trying when you exercise. We use it to encourage our clients (and ourselves – the PTs use it too!) to earn more MEPs on a level playing field, and we love the fact that it rewards effort rather than results.
It’s easy to use, incredibly accurate (over 99%) and the colour coded threshold levels mean you can tell when to up the pace or slow down at a glance, whether your stats are on the screen in the MW Fitness gym, or on your phone when you’re out for a run.
The community aspect means that our clients can encourage and motivate each other, and by sharing your workout stats, your personal trainer is able to see what you are achieving when you’re not in the studio, for a better overall picture of your activity levels.
Best App for Results, Motivation and Support
MW Fitness App, Free
For the best personal training in Bishop’s Stortford, check availability and book your sessions on the MW Fitness App and we will see you at the studio soon.