While I always recommend a personal trainer (it’s what I do, after all), it’s true that we can’t be with our trainers all the time, and it’s at those times that fitness tracking apps can make a substantial difference. An application can’t replace the one-on-one personalized guidance a trainer can offer you, but it can certainly help you to stay on track and keep yourself accountable when your trainer isn’t there.
Using Fitness Tracking Apps to Support Your Goals
You know I love my Fitbit and rely on my fitness tracker’s features in my own life. Having trackers make it easy to default to the fitness tracking apps that come with them. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that they are the ideal solution to meet your needs. Whether you have a Fitbit like me, an Apple Watch or another similar gadget – or you don’t have one at all – the application you choose depends on what you want to accomplish.
Which Fitness Tracking Apps Do I Like?
Not including the Fitbit application, which is decent but quirky and, in my opinion, encourages the wrong goals due to its pedometer obsession when compared to the quality of activity (though that is improving), there are other fitness tracking apps that I find very helpful and often recommend that my clients try out for themselves.
Here are 5 of the fitness tracking apps I recommend the most.
1 – Runkeeper
This application is free at its basic level, though there is a premium service for a $10 monthly subscription that opens up a lot of extra features. Trying it at the free level can help you to know if you might benefit from the upgrade, if the basic is all you need, or if this app just doesn’t match your workout strategy. This one is good for people whose workouts often feature running. It uses your device and GPS to measure your activity and progress. It also has some pretty good virtual running groups and individual challenges to keep you motivated.
2 – Map My Fitness
This is a free app with a $6 monthly subscription rate for premium features. It provides overall physical activity tracking, including everything from walking around your home as you do chores to hitting the gym for a sweat session. It partners with MapMyRun and pairs with Fitbits, Apple Watches and many other trackers.
3 – BurnFit
This is a free app with premium options available with a $5 monthly subscription. It is meant to make it easier for you to work activity into your busy life. It has an exercise log, a progress monitor, a personalized workout schedule, and an HIIT (high intensity interval training) tracker. The features come together to help you to stay on top of your workouts.
4 – Gymbook
This is a free app with premium features available with a $3 monthly subscription. It lets you track every workout you complete, with space to jot down your body measurements and extra notes. What I find interesting and unique about it is that it will provide a comparative workout analysis that even includes a heat map of the body to let you know where your workout is most likely to cause post-workout muscle soreness, so you can take preventative action accordingly.
5 – Jetfit
This is a good fitness tracking app option for bodybuilders or weightlifters. It’s free but has premium features for $7 per month. It lets you track your weights, sets, reps and the length of each workout. This lets you know where you’re progressing, where you need work, and how you’re getting stronger.