If there is a reason why many people sign up for gyms and don’t go to them, it is because gym sales reps and trainers are good at selling you the concept of getting fit. They’ll ask you what kind of body you want, and they’ll tell you that they can get you there. But for anyone who has ever worked to reach their desired body, whether it be for health or aesthetic reasons, you know and appreciate that it’s a lot of hard work.
It is also more than just hitting the gym once or twice a week because going home to veg out on the couch or stuffing your face with fast food after a gym session probably won’t get you to your goals either. Below is a list of apps that will help you achieve your fitness goals, or, at least, try to keep you on the right track, so check them out if getting in shape or hitting that 500lb deadlift is your goal for 2016. At Ubergizmo, we know that if you measure it, you will improve it.
*We would also like to point out that we are not sponsored by any of these apps, but rather this is based on the personal opinion and experience of the author who has used and is still using these apps to date.
Ask anyone who is tracking their meals and there is a very good chance that they are using MyFitnessPal to count their calories. Why MyFitnessPal? There are plenty of apps available out there to track your diet, but MyFitnessPal excels because it relies on a very large database of food items that have been added to be its users over the years.
It works on a variety of cuisines so if you’re the type that dines on char kuay teow instead of a crumbled feta cheese quinoa salad, don’t worry because there is a very good chance that MyFitness has the food listed. It even comes with a barcode scanner so if you’re lazy to type, this will do the trick.
If you’re training to bulk, you can even set your goals like the amount of carbs, fat, and protein and it’ll keep track for you. Users will also be able to log their daily weight and add a photo if you prefer visual progress.
It has been suggested by fitness professionals that you should walk at least 10,000 steps a day in order to maintain a relatively healthy lifestyle. Pedometer++ is an iOS app that basically uses your iPhone to count how many steps that you have taken in a day. Users can set goals if they wish and they can track their steps via the app.
It sounds pretty basic, but the upside is that there is a Pedometer++ widget for iOS meaning that at a glance, you can see how many steps you’ve taken and it will be color-coded to indicate how close you are to reaching your goals. The app itself will also show you the steps you’ve taken since you’ve installed the app, so you can see your progress over the days/months.
Unfortunately, this is an iOS-only app, but we thought the feature to view your steps via the widget screen was nifty enough to get a mention. For Android users, there are similar apps out there, Google Fit being one of them which you can check out.
Download: iTunes App Store
Price: Free with in-app purchases to donate to the developer.
Being able to hire a trainer on a daily basis sounds like a dream, especially if you’re completely new to working out. However trainers are expensive and unless you’re a celebrity, hiring them on a daily basis will drain your bank account a lot faster than you would like. This is where Fitness Buddy comes into play.
Fitness Buddy is basically a database of workouts that you can choose from. The developers are boasting that there are more than 1,700 different workouts (300+ if you use the free version) that users can choose from, so if you’re looking for alternative workouts to that chest press, you’ll probably find one in the app. If you’re looking for complete workouts, the app has more than 85 professionally created workouts that you can choose from.
There are also videos to show you how to properly do a workout. Granted it’s not quite the same as hiring a personal trainer, but it is definitely a lot cheaper. There is also a paid version that you can try out if you’d rather not pay for a subscription.
If there is one reason why people stop gymming after a week or two, it is because for many, going to the gym or eating healthy is considered a chore, not a habit. Think about how easy it is for you to just stay home and play video games instead of going out for a run, it is because playing video games has become a habit and exercise hasn’t.
Habitica hopes to change that by making habits a game. It is not a fitness app per se, but the app will let users set habits that they want to make (or break) by gamifying the process, which is why it stands out amongst other habit apps. It features cute pixel art and it also lets users gain levels simply by keeping to their new habits or breaking old ones.
Users can earn gold by keeping their habits and that gold can be used to purchase rewards. Leveling up will also let users collect items like pets.
Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock
Wake up feeling more tired than when you went to bed? Wondering why you can barely complete your run today when you breezed through it the day before without breaking a sweat? Potentially worrying medical conditions aside, there is a good chance that you probably did not get enough sleep, or, at least, did not get a nice rested sleep.
Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock will help with that. The app will rely on your phone to keep track of your sleep cycles. It will measure how deep of a sleep you get into, how often, and at what time of the night. So if you wake up feeling tired and you check the app and realize that you spent very little time in REM sleep, then you know why you’re tired.
It also doubles as an alarm where it will attempt to wake you up when it detects that you’re not in a deep sleep. For example, if you set your alarm to wake you up at 6:30 am, but the app detects that you’re actually in a very shallow sleep at 6:20 am, it will wake you up then so you’ll feel less tired and groggy.
As you can see, all the apps listed here are all free to download. All of them are also fully functional even if they are free with their core features intact. However some have Premium upgrade or subscription options that will unlock additional features, for example, Sleep Cycle’s Premium features include online backup, comparing your sleep patterns to the rest of the world, and a heart rate monitor that apparently relies on your phone’s built-in camera.
However at the end of the day, these are completely optional purchases. If you just want an alarm clock that tracks your sleep, the regular version of the app will suffice. These apps will also not require you to own any extra gadgets, like a heart rate sensor or a fitness tracker. That being said, we suppose we don’t have to tell you that these apps are just tools to help you on your journey to fitness and that at the end of the day it’s up to you to get yourself to the gym, to skip that extra slice of pizza, and to push yourself to do that last rep. We can only hope that these apps will make that journey a bit easier.