Any activity in life these days has a host of smartphone Apps to accompany it. Lifting weights in the Gym is no exception, in fact, it is one activity that seems to have more Apps on the planet created for it. There are Apps to track everything from calories burnt, to rest periods and everything in between.
For anyone serious about their lifting, though, most Apps can be more of an annoyance. While they may seem practical upon purchasing them from the App store, the novelty wears off quickly and they are relegated to the home screen, where they do nothing but take up your storage space on your phone.
We at Gym Meals have decided to make some practical suggestions on what to download from the App Store. Apps we personally use and think you may find useful.
If you are big on getting your form right, this is the perfect App for you. This app can be used on any exercise, but is especially useful if you want to improve your deadlift, squat, bench press or any form of Olympic lifting.
As the name suggests, My Coaches Eye is an application developed for coaches to use on their athletes and is perfect for lifters. The App allows you film your lifts and then replay them, which sounds boring, right? But its specialised features enable you to thoroughly analyse your lifts, pinpointing faults in your form, that would go normally go unnoticed on regular video.
The ability to be able to film lifts from different angles and compare in slow motion, lets you detect discrepancies in your form. Drawing and annotating on the captured videos and still image further enables you to measure your bar path and ensure you are getting the optimal trajectory on your lifts. All videos are conveniently saved and can be imported easily to your camera roll, and uploaded to Youtube.
Available on: i OS, Android, and web.
My Fitness Pal
Unless you have been living under a rock the last few years, you have probably already heard of My Fitness Pal or are already using it. Regardless, it is still worth mentioning for those few that may not have heard of it or those that don't have it in their App current catalogue.
In short, My Fitness Pal is the most comprehensive calorie tracking/workout tracking/Fitness App of its kind. Almost too comprehensive, though, to the point where you find you won't use the majority of its features (something I will elaborate on later).
- Calorie tracker with the largest database of foods (over 5,000,000 they say).
- Syncs with over 50 Apps.
- Barcode scanner and recipe adding feature.
- Quick add feature.
- Remembers favourites or foods that are commonly added together.
- Tracks calories, fat, protein, carbs, sugar, fibre, cholesterol, and more.
As you can see, My Fitness Pal does basically everything. It Syncs with almost every fitness application known to man and even has its own fitness community that allows you to follow friends and following their upates.
With that said, I find a large amount of the features redundant. The real beauty of My Fitness Pal is the function that it is primarily made for, which is simply tracking calories.
The App allows you to quickly set and manage your calories, breaking it down into the important nutrients, comparing them against targets and also seeing a percentage breakdown of your nutrition intake. The comprehensive database, favourite, quick-add and barcode scanning features make it a breeze to add your favourite foods such as Gym Meals Direct.
One downside is the default formula that the App uses to calculate out your daily intake of calories/macronutrients isn't really designed with bodybuilders or serious lifters in mind, and will have you falling short on your protein target. This can be easily changed by logging onto the website and customising your calories and macronutrients, though.
Cost: Free for basic features (recommended), premium for $9.99/month or $49.99/year.
Available on: Web, i OS, and Android.
As I mentioned previously, the fitness world is littered wth Apps. A lot of these applications are designed to track and log workouts. The problem is most of them are clunky, unintuitive and have a small database of exercises to pull from. Strong is a workout tracking App that differs from the rest, as it's an application designed by lifters, for lifters.
- Simple to use interface.
- Add your own routines and choose between them.
- Add and customise your own cardio workouts.
- Tag sets as warmups, drop sets and failure.
- Track supersets.
- Import as CSV.
- Calculates total weight lifted and 1 rep maxes.
Strong does everything you wish a workout tracking App did. Its simple to use interface cuts out serious time and headaches found with other workout trackers and leaves you more time to, you know, actually workout.
It has a comprehensive database of exercises and its ability to tag exercises as either drop-sets, warmups and failure, caters to any Gym goers needs. It can also track rest periods, between sets and group exercises together.
If you are serious about the tracking and record keeping of your workouts, the App allows you to easily export and save as CSV via email and can even upload to cloud applications such as Evernote. To top it off, Strong provides a wide variety of statistics and analytics of your workout, including total weight lifted and calculated one rep max (1RM).
Available on: i OS and Android.