Fitness Apps

Fitness Apps

With so many fitness/lifestyle apps out there it’s sometimes difficult to choose the one most suitable to meet your fitness goals. We’ve done a bit of research and found what we think are the best ones out there.

Nike+ Training Club

This training app offers a wide range of high intensity workouts with audio guidance from a range of athletes and professional Nike trainers. Workouts target a combination of strength, endurance or mobility with three difficulty levels to choose from. The app also allows you to keep track of your runs as it syncs with the Nike+Run Club app. Other activities such as gym training, tennis, football can be entered manually to monitor your training. There are over 100 workouts to choose from focused on getting lean, toned and strong. Workouts vary from 15 minutes to 45 minutes and only requires you to have a mat, resistance band and some dumbells.

One minute desk workout

Most of us are now aware of the many negative health impacts associated with prolonged sitting. With approximately 45 exercises available, the One Minute Desk Workout encourages and reminds you to get up, move around and stretch regularly while at work or studying. The app creates a reminder every hour, to get up and do one minute of stretching/mobility exercises, targeting the most common areas where desk workers tend to develop repetitive strain injuries.

My Fitness Pal

My fitness pal is an all rounder app that can track calorie intake, step count and can also track your workouts. It is probably best known for tracking food and nutrient intake and provides the user with a food database containing over 5 millions foods, to add to your food diary. Depending on the users profile and fitness goals, the app calculates ideal calorie and nutrient intake, while using various, fun motivational tools along the way.

Strava

Strava is an all encompassing app which you can sync with your phone, GPS, watch or heart rate monitor, measuring a massive range of performance parameters such as calories burned, distance covered, total time, speed over distance, average and max speed and heart rate when linked with a heart rate monitor. It is most frequently used by runners and cyclists. The app also allows you to follow friends or club members and share training runs, rides or workouts. For those who are extra competitive Strava provides a leader board for your chosen sport. The most exclusive features of Strava are the social elements and segments. Segments are particular sections of a run/ride, normally based on a hill climb or uphill run. It allows the user to compare their performance on a particular segment with friends, family and club members who are also on Strava. Make sure you create a “privacy zone” in Strava settings in order to avoid bike thieves tracking your favourite route and targeting your specific lock up location or home address.

StrongLifts 5×5

This app is geared towards those wishing to get stronger, and provides a structured, easy to follow program in order to achieve this fitness goal. Stronglifts 5×5 takes the guess work out of how much to increase your weight by each week by showing you which particular exercises to do together, how much weight to lift for each, and how long rest periods between sets should be. The strength program provides three, 45 minute workouts per week, covering 5 multijoint barbell lifts.

Couch to 5km

An app at has been around for a long time is the couch to 5km app. There are a number of versions of the app available now, the best ones being ‘Couch to 5km’ and C25K’. This app is an easy way for complete beginner runners to start their running journey, taking them up to 5km of continuous running, and due to the progressive nature of the running program, hopefully avoiding injury along the way. The app begins with a mixture of running/walking intervals, and entails 3 runs per week, over a 9 week period, allowing you to gradually build fitness and endurance. Earphones are required to tell you when to walk/run. Following completion of the Couch to 5km, you could check out 5km to 10km, to gradually increase distance in a structured and safe format.

Written by Niamh Wynne, Physiotherapist

Niamh graduated from Trinity College Dublin with a BSc (Hons) in Physiotherapy in 2007.

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