The best fitness apps can help solve a lot of the most common problems people face along the way to better health.
In a perfect world, anyone embarking on their own fitness journey would know exactly what they were doing right off the bat, have endless motivation, and see incredible results. It’s easy to dream about all that stuff, but in reality, getting fit can be a difficult and bumpy journey over the long run.
For those who can’t afford to hire a real personal trainer, an app can serve as the next best thing. From video demonstrations and statistical tracking, to workout customization and community support, there’s perhaps no other way to get a good regimen going as you can by downloading an app.
Here are 10 of the best fitness apps to try out on your iPhone or Android mobile device.
1. FitStar Personal Trainer: Free with optional premium upgrades for iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch only
Created by former NFL player Tony Gonzalez, FitStar Personal Trainer is an app that’s just what it sounds like — a digital personal trainer that gives you tailored workouts based on your personal needs (as determined by a fitness questionnaire you'll take before getting started). Whether you’re a newbie or seasoned athlete, there are workouts designed for everyone, with premium upgrades as cheap as $5 for combinations of custom audio tracks and video tutorials.
If you’re feeling competitive, you can also take advantage of the Challenges feature, which matches you up against another user or lets you set a personal goal to reach. As you continue to track your progress, you’ll gain access to brand new moves to add to your workouts.
2. Nike+ Training Club: Free for iPhone and Android
This is the app you want to download if you're simply looking for a nice variety of workouts to follow for free. Choose from over 100 different workouts designed by professional trainers geared toward beginner, intermediate, and advanced fitness levels. Workouts can then be tailored to your needs even further based on whether you have a goal of getting toned, getting strong, getting lean, or getting focused.
Featuring beautiful full-screen videos of moves you can mimic yourself and track as you complete them, the app automatically mixes things up to always keep it interesting — with warm-ups, cool downs, and even rest days always included in your program. Catch a glimpse of your progress based on a variety of figures to see how much your improving by looking at the number of workouts, minutes, average calories, and even NikeFuel points you've accumulated.
3. Fitocracy: Free with optional premium upgrades for iPhone and Android
As one of the highest rated fitness apps out there, Fitocracy leverages the knowledge and experience of real personal trainers to help its users reach their goals. For a premium price of as little as $1 a day, users can get personalized fitness assessments and nutrition plans, or sign up to work with a trainer through the app.
Even without the premium upgrades, the app is incredibly helpful and motivating. You can track every move or rep throughout your workout, earn points to encourage you to do more every time, and join groups to chat about your progress or have any specific questions answered by members of the community.
4. Pact: Free for iPhone and Android
Sometimes there’s just nothing like a little monetary reward to keep you motivated, am I right?! Pact is a different type of fitness app that actually pays you money if you stick to your goals. And if you don’t, then you have to do the opposite -- fork out some of your own cash to reward those who did what they said the would.
It couldn’t get any simpler. Just set your weekly goals for exercise and nutrition and track your progress through the app by checking into your gym, tracking your workouts via GPS, or counting your steps. For your meals, take photos and have them verified by other users. If you can keep it up, you get to earn cash!
5. Spring: Free for iPhone only
Spring isn’t just any regular running app. It certainly does offer everything from GPS tracking and customizable step counts for lower and higher intensity runs, but that’s not what really makes it shine. The reason why this app stands out among the rest is because it doubles as a free music app, with tracks specifically chosen to match your steps to the rhythm.
The app features more than 40,000 songs, all of which you can browse through by genre or by selecting a pre-made playlist. You can change the tempo in the middle of your walk or run, and even choose music based on interval training that guides you through low and high intensity beats.
The best fitness apps out there just keep getting better and better, and there’s no telling what new and cool tracking features or customization options may become available in the near future. While an app can never truly take the place of a real personal trainer, it’s nice to know that it comes pretty darn close — and for a much cheaper price!
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